Welcome to another season of our Vancouver Whitecaps contest “Guess the Starting XI and Final Score”. As is tradition, thanks to former regular Spencer for starting this several years ago. It has grown into a great contest and I am appreciative of him for the original idea. Like last season, we will break the contest up into the three ‘seasons’: first half, second half, and non-MLS. We will continue to have fun monthly ‘bonus’ prediction categories, with some being based on whatever it topical at the time. Last season we had things like “Robbo post-match quotes”, “yellow cards”, “first goal scorer”, and several others. However, to start the season, we will keep March simple. With that out of the way, let’s remind you all how the scoring is done.
- Contest article will be posted 2-3 days prior to game day.
- We will keep track of first half, second half, and monthly winners so that late joiners will have something to play for.
- I will have a separate ‘contest’ for Voyageurs and Champions League.
- As the MLS season is 34 matches, each half of the season will be based on 17 matches, with your worst two match predictions being dropped. This will allow everyone a few misses or bad guesses throughout the season.
- Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE 1.5 hours prior to kickoff (or half an hour prior to the lineup being officially announced).
How Scoring is Determined
- You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly predicting 10 starters. Receive 3 bonus points for correctly predicting 11 starters.
- You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw.
- You receive 1 point for correctly guessing each team’s final score. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly guessing both teams final score (for a total of 3).
That means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 22 points!
After each match, I will tally the scores and update the standings, which will be posted with the following match’s prediction article. I will post three sets of standings. First, the results from the previous match. Second, the monthly standings. Third, the first/second half standings (with your worst two match predictions removed).
Match #34 (Portland Timbers) Standings
Welcome to the stretch of the 2018 MLS season. Everyone started September off strong, with scores ranging from 14 to 20. Chuckbiscuit was tops this match with 20 points, only getting Henry wrong in the Starting XI and predicting three goals for the Whitecaps instead of two. Right behind them was a four-way tie at 19 points. If only edmondk was a bit better with their lineup prediction. They correctly predicted Davies and 2-1 Caps, but were a bit off in their Starting XI, with Henry, de Jong, and Felipe (instead of Ghazal) slotted in. On the opposite side was The Squirrel who had the only perfect lineup of the week, but failed to get any points on score or predict Davies as the first goal scorer. Like so many others, Kamara was the most commonly predicted first goal scorer. Who could blame us! He has been hot of late and it was his birthday.
Moving on to the Derby match against Seattle Sounders this weekend there are a few lineup decisions that need to be made. Maund got the start last match at centerback, alongside Waston, but Henry was back in action over the break with the Canadian national team. Does he suit up for the Whitecaps or does Maund get another start? Speaking of another start, Teibert has been in good form...for most of the season. It seems unlikely that Felipe sits another match. Does that mean that Felipe subs in for Teibert, or maybe Ghazal? It is possible that we see Felipe elsewhere on the field though. The Caps will have a big hole to fill with Reyna suspended for this match with yellow card accumulation. It is likely that Mezquida takes his place in the Starting XI, despite what CWilkins had to say about him in the latest article on the top 5 Whitecaps disappointments this season. However, we could see Felipe move up the pitch to the attacking midfield position, to keep the duo of Ghazal and Teibert in front of the back four. I don’t think it is likely that Robbo would do something like that, but it would be nice.
Throughout all of September and October our “bonus” contest will be first goal scorer. Correctly predict the first Whitecaps player to score in the match and earn an extra three points to your September/October score (doesn’t count for 2nd Half Standings). New this time around, you can predict no goal scorer if you feel the Whitecaps will be shut out. However you MUST write no scorer (or something like that), even if you predict a scoreline where the Caps do not get a goal. I need to see that ‘no scorer’ prediction. Likewise, if you predict the Caps get shutout, but want to hedge by predicting a goal scorer just in case, feel free to do so.
That is all from me in this one. Good luck with your predictions!
Injury/Suspension Report (Updated as Information Becomes Available)
Injured: Jose Aja & Jordon Mutch
Suspended: Yordy Reyna (yellow card accumulation)