MLS is BACK!! Well, sort of. It has a new sponsor of course, COVID-19, and it is taking place in hell (i.e., epicenter of COVID-19). We have lost two teams already, but apparently we are continuing with this show. As a result, that means that Guess the Starting XI is also back. We have a few things to refresh. We only got through two matches in 2020, so I am not going to worry about the scores from those matches (at least not yet). Instead, we are going to treat this tournament as its own contest. Since it might only be three games, we are going to count all matches. For fun, we will have some bonus categories, but they will be tongue-in-cheek, so not worth any points. Let’s remind everyone how scoring is conducted.
How Scoring is Determined
- Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE half-an-hour prior to the lineup being officially announced, which means 1.5 hours before kickoff.
- 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 typically 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).
MLS is Back #1 (San Jose) Rankings
Match Review (San Jose Earthquakes)
The joys of the ‘start’ of a Whitecaps season. As Island Life said “ever an optimist”. Seems that most of us were blind to the team we have been following. Only four people predicted a SJ victory, which led to a three-way tie for top spot in this match between edmondk, Isabelt, and tecate. GreyHouseEffect was the other person who correctly predicted a SJ win. Ugh! I was looking so good! I had the 3-1 Whitecaps score and then it all fell apart!
There were a lot of good lineups, with most getting the front six; although Bikel was substituted in for Owusu in a couple of cases. The other two positions were RB (again with Bikel) and CB (Cornelius).
A few other observations:
- chuckbiscuits went all out predicting the first goal scorer (Milnokovic), time of goal (16-30 minutes), and first yellow card (Adnan). Impressive...although they had ‘Inbox’ in their lineup. I assumed that was Inbeom, so I gave it to ya!
- AmandaC was the first to get that back-line correct...but then lost the perfect lineup putting Raposo in for Dajome. Oops!
- AshMan77 was the first to get the perfect lineup...sadly, they didn’t get anything else :(.
- tecate, I liked your question of will MDS use all five of his subs. We should add that into our predictions this week. At least have something to get excited about!
Match Preview (Seattle Sounders)
It is not good folks! Short-handed heading into this tournament things did not get any better after news that Bikel is out for the remainder of the tournament and Owusu was injured late in the San Jose match and is likely out...although...there seems to be disagreement with Owusu. Regardless, the already sparse cupboards are looking even more empty heading into this one.
On the other side, Seattle Sounders have not looked good in this one. However, the defending champions are NOT going to want to bow out this early. They were the easy favourite to win the Group. Lose this one and they are certainly out. Win and they can likely get into the second round if Chicago beats San Jose.
All signs point to the Caps losing, but they have a history of losing when they need/should win and wining when they shouldn’t, so who knows. What we do know is that it will be a confusing lineup and some young guys are going to get a shot. With that in mind, here are the TWO bonus categories. This might get complicated so keep with me.
Bonus #1: Correctly predict the number of substitutes MDS uses in the game, receive three bonus points.
Bonus #2: Correctly predict the total number (range) of ‘official’ minutes from the following youngsters: Thomas Hasal, Cristian Gutierrez, Michael Baldism, Patrick Metcalfe, Simon Colyn, and Damiano Pecile
Your options are: 0 minutes, >0 to 5 minutes, >5 minutes to <10 minutes, 10 minutes to <20 minutes, 20 minutes to >45 minutes, 45 to <60 minutes, 60 minutes to <90 minutes, 90 minutes plus.
I only went this high because there is a legit shot at least one of these guys starts given how few options there are.
Good luck everyone!