The Thorns Prediction Game

Matchday 17, take two. Carolina on our mind.

The Thorns dropped a second 2-1 loss to the Reign. Aside from the disappointment, this means that OL Reign will have the tiebreaker on Portland should it come to that, which it might.

Two players predicted a Reign victory, both with the correct score. Daniel Stratton wins this week with the correct prediction and a story of Gio taking one for the Thorns.

[2-1 loss. Rapinoe from Fishlock, Rapinoe PK, Salem unassisted. First yellow card to Huerta, no red.]

The Courage are coming off back-to-back scoreless draws against teams far below them on the table. They are without Sam Mewis and perhaps still Abby Erceg. Without Mewis as a foil, Debinha has been marked out of the match by midfield double-teams, and without her service McDonald and Williams are getting few looks. Will the Thorns use and execute the same strategy?

[Last meeting: June 26, 2021 at WakeMed Park, 2-0 Thorns loss.]

How this works:
Add a comment to this post. As your first line, put your predicted result, for example 3-1 Thorns.

In the body of your comment, start with the goals and assists, like so:
Smith (Klingenberg)
Salem (Free kick)
Moultrie (Unassisted)
Williams (PK)

Next, name the first yellow card recipient: Merritt Mathias
Then a red card. (NOTE: no points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.) Also Merritt Mathias.

Make your fun prediction, and give a “thumbs up” to anybody else’s prediction that tickles your fancy: After the match, the coaches are reminiscing since this will likely be their final meeting in Cary. As they separate, Riley gives Parsons a clod of mud as a souvenir.

· Correct score: 5 points
· Correct result (draw/win/loss): 3 points
· Each clean sheet: 2 points
· Each goal-scorer: 1 point
· Each FK/PK/assist/lack of assist: 1 point
· Goal/assist bonus: 1 point
· Player with the first yellow card of the match: 1 point
· A player with a red card: 1 point
· Most liked/most outrageously accurate prediction: 2 points

Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):
Comments must be posted before kickoff, but you can edit or amend an earlier prediction right up to the starting whistle.

Keep your scoreline predictions realistic. No crazy scores just to pad out your odds of getting goals and assists.

The goal/assist bonus is an additional point if you predict the correct scorer and assistant on the same goal, for example, you say Hubly scores from a Boureille assist and that is exactly what happens. P.S. if you say exactly that, and it happens, I will hunt you down and buy you a beer!

Be clear whether you think a goal will be unassisted, assisted, or from a PK/FK. Unassisted = no assist, run of play; Assisted = player who got the assist; PK/FK = not in run of play. For the purposes of this thread, Penalty Kick and Free Kick are the same thing. No entry means unassisted.

The game thread will usually be posted 48 hours before each match.

Have fun, tell your friends, let me know if you have any questions or if I screw up your score.

Richard Hamje
Latest posts by Richard Hamje (see all)

9 thoughts on “The Thorns Prediction Game

  1. This feels like a second loss in a row. With everything happening and then not happening, I think this team is set up for another loss. Sure we didn’t play for almost 2 weeks, so are a little more rested, but we had maybe Saturday as an extra prep day for NC since it was called off so late and the rhythm is going to be off. All that said. When playing against NC I am usually wrong on my guess .

    So 0-2 win for the Thorns.

    Weaver (Kling)
    Charley (Rocky)

    YC Horan
    RC Parsons

    Parsons one ups himself for his last time in NC with the Thorns and instead of a repeat of the dirt in hand incident, he uses a joke electric shocker while shaking the ref’s hand post game.

  2. 3-1 Thorns

    Smith (Liv)
    Rocky (unassisted)
    Sinc (PK)

    Williams (A-Rod) …that feels really weird to write

    YC: Horan
    RC: Mathias

    In preparation for the NWSL Championship game, both teams decide to wear parkas. Of course, its going to be nearly 90 degrees in Cary this Sunday, so the players quickly realize how stupid this is and try to get the game rescheduled to be played at the north pole.

  3. We always have a tough time against these jokers and even moreso in their house. I’d like to think the extra week would help, but…I see this as a scrappy low-scoring draw.

    Williams (Pickett)
    Smith (Kuikka)

    YC: Horan
    RC: Pickett

    While the match in Cary is grinding down to it’s stymied conclusion, the NWSL finally issues a ruling derived from the COVID postponement of the Washington match. Although the Spirit are not required to forfeit the game (and, in fact, are allowed to play Tacoma this weekend) when their unvaccinated players are on the pitch they must be preceded by a person ringing a bell shouting “Unclean!”.

    This will be applied to every other NWSL club, as well.

    The bell-ringers don’t count against the roster limit but are eligible for the expansion draft.

  4. The Tacoma-Washington match is called off due to COVID issues among the Superspreaders, who lose 3-nil by forfeit.

    Which, of course, raises the question of why the game here hasn’t been abandoned and the forfeit awarded. There’s been some speculation that the forfeit was offered and that the Thorns FO declined to accept it, hoping to reschedule the match. The lost revenue might well be a consideration of that’s the case…but it also puts the team in position to lose the Shield if things don’t go perfectly with the replay.

    I hope that the speculation I’m hearing is not, in fact, the case. That would be a hell of a trick for the ownership to play on this squad.

    1. When Merritt is tweeting about how they were expecting their largest crowd all year, of course it was about tickets, concessions, merchandise, etc. Eyeballing the stadium this year they are hovering around 15K in most of the home games since they opened up. Understandably lower then previous years, but still a deficiency they are trying to cover. If they got between 17.5K and 25K that would be great for the team financially.

      The pre-digital tickets stated clearly if the event is rescheduled within a year they get to keep the money regardless of if you can show up or to the new event. I got to the games very early and read the fine print on the ticket. I got bored. I assume the same is for these digital tickets.

      I don’t know how the parent company is doing overall but if they are cash strapped or in the middle of trying to get a loan, having to move this income/asset to a liability could torpedo the entire loan, or cause problems with the payroll.

      One would hope Thorns take the 3 points forfeit and have the Spirit cover at least the lost tickets since merch/concessions are unquantifiable, but if Spirit owner says no what are you going to do sue them? After getting hammered consistently over the legal disputes with Moultrie I don’t think the league can, and as long as they are a single entity generally the left arm can’t sue the right arm. Especially pointless if the legal costs outweigh what is to be gained, or if they don’t think the Spirit could cover it anyway, truly poor not just being stingy.

  5. Thorns 2-1 Courage

    Weaver (Moultrie)
    Ryan (Pogarch)

    Debinha (O’Sullivan)

    YC: Matthias
    RC: A-Rod

    After last weekend’s ridiculous college football antics*, Duke’s Mayo tries to improve their image and sponsors this game. All concessions at WakeMed Park come covered in Duke’s. Wake Forest’s Med School is horrified at the increased heart disease risk caused by this. The NWSL works out a sponsorship deal with the school, too, and places stickers on all concessions with a map to the WFMS ER.

    * –

  6. Thorns 1-0 Courage

    Horan (Klingenberg)

    YC: Mathias
    RC: Riley

    Riley claims that the Thorns have an unfair advantage because of being 100% vaccinated. His reasoning is that if the team weren’t vaccinated, they would likely have enough Covid cases to be forced to forfeit. Arguing his point, he grabs the ref’s arm to pantomime an injection, and is ejected.

  7. Thorns 2- 1 Courage

    Sophia Smith (Rocky)
    Horan (Salem)
    Williams (ARod)

    I feel that the damn have our number, but loyaltry trumpts pragmatism so I’m going for a Thorns win.

    Riley comes out onto the pitch claiming that the Courage are NOT, in fact, underdogs! The team, befuddled by the change in their coach who has been pushing the ridiculous fiction for years, spends the game confused and bamoozled. Turns out, Riley has is a big anti-vaxxer. He has COVID, and his weakened state prompted a mental lapse. That’s all I’ve got b/c I”m nervous about this stupid game vs the Damned.

    They always beat us.


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