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Guess the Starting XI MLS is Back #3 (Chicago Fire)

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The Vancouver Whitecaps (likely) conclude the MLS is Back Tournament against Group A transplant Chicago Fire. With a spot in the final 16 up for grabs!

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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 Match #2 (Seattle Sounders)

Rank User Total Lineup Bonus Winner Score Subs/Mins
Rank User Total Lineup Bonus Winner Score Subs/Mins
1 Isabelt 20 11 3 5 1 0
1 tecate 20 11 3 5 1 0
3 AtlantisB 17 10 1 5 1 0
3 edmondk 17 9 0 5 3 0
5 Fudmur 15 9 0 5 1 0
5 GreyHouseEffect 15 9 0 5 1 0
7 Airos 14 8 0 5 1 0
7 chuckbiscuits 14 8 0 5 1 0
9 Island Life 12 9 0 0 0 3
10 AmandaC 11 10 1 0 0 0
10 AshMan77 11 8 0 0 0 3
10 CDPrior 11 10 1 0 0 0
13 rtomsheck 9 9 0 0 0 0
14 Mykvechikin 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 Spudbilly 0 0 0 0 0 0

MLS is Back Tournament (Overall Rankings)

Rank User Overall San Jose Seattle Chicago
Rank User Overall San Jose Seattle Chicago
1 tecate 45 16 20 9
2 Isabelt 44 16 20 8
3 edmondk 41 16 17 8
4 AmandaC 39 11 11 17
5 AtlantisB 38 12 17 9
6 AshMan77 37 14 8 15
6 GreyHouseEffect 37 14 15 8
8 chuckbiscuits 33 11 14 8
9 CDPrior 32 9 11 12
9 Fudmur 32 9 15 8
11 Island Life 31 9 9 13
12 Airos 29 14 15 0
13 rtomsheck 20 11 9 0
14 Mykvechikin 9 9 0 0
14 Spudbilly 9 9 0 0

Match Review (Seattle Sounders)

Sigh....That is about all I have to say on that one. There were a lot of speculations over what changes would be made to the lineup. The answer: None! Marc Dos Santos trotted out the same lineup. Isabelt and tecate used that to predict perfect lineups and score the overall match lead with 20 points. In fact, both were top scorers for San Jose as well, meaning that the two of them are sitting at the top of the tournament standings as well, each with 36 points. They are followed by edmondk (33 points).

Island Life was the only person to predict five substitutions while AshMan77 was the only person to predict 45 to <60 minutes. Each earned three bonus points. Play the KIDS!!! Even when there were very few, to no, other choices for Marc Dos Santos and Vancouver, the combination of Hasal (32), Gutierrez (17), Pecile, Baldisimo, Metcalfe, and Colyn could only muster 49 official minutes. In fact, it was only that high because Crepeau went down with a fractured thumb.

A few other observations:

  • rtomsheck: yes, far too optimistic...although you were not the only one!
  • autocorrect strikes again. This time with edmondk and ‘Crepes’.
  • no one beats Airos though with their lineup prediction....amazingly, I think, I understood your lineup choices (fyi, I know it reads ‘8’ above....I corrected it in the master sheet to ‘9’). You missed on ‘Corndog’ and ‘Double R’. LOL.
  • even the pessimistic couldn’t be completely pessimistic with many 3-1 Sounders scorelines predicted.
  • Isabelt just missed out on a big match. Predicted 3-1 instead of 3-0; four subs instead of five; 20-45 minutes. So close!
  • AmandaC, good call on Cornelius. Are we learning to go with your gut? Maybe not with that scoreline ;).

Match Preview (Chicago Fire)

With Vancouver all but eliminated from the next round it would be a good opportunity to get some of the youngsters minutes...of course, don’t be surprised if they continue to get minimal minutes. I get it, to some degree. While we have not had a season, there were a lot of new faces and the Caps need to determine if they are keeping guys like Milinkovic. With no more games likely after Thursday, this is the last chance to make that decision. Nevertheless, we will have the same bonus category of guessing how many minutes the youngsters will have. Of course, Hasal will be omitted with Crepeau’s fractured thumb meaning that Hasal is almost assured to start.

Chicago were able to pull off the win against Seattle but didn’t look too good against San Jose. I have no idea what to expect in this one. Likely a Whitecaps loss, but don’t be surprised if we see otherwise.

Bonus Categories

This is likely the final match of 2020 for the Vancouver Whitecaps (I am not sure that is a bad thing), so let’s really go all out for this one when it comes to bonus points. Here are what you are predicting (each correct prediction is worth three points).

  1. Total number of Whitecaps subs
  2. Total number of minutes played by Gutierrez, Baldisimo, Metcalfe, Colyn, and 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.

3. Interval for the Whitecaps first goal (note, if you believe they won’t score you must say so to receive three points).

Your options are: 0 to <15 minutes, 15 to <30 minutes, 30 to <45+ minutes (includes injury time), 45 to <60 minutes, 60 to <75 minutes, 75 to 90+ minutes.

4. First Whitecaps yellow card recipient

5. Whitecaps possession (+/- 3%)

Five is enough right? Let’s just do five!

Good luck everyone! Enjoy the last match of 2020.