The Thorns Prediction Game IV – A New Hope

Remember this?

So the final standings are:

NameLast MatchFinal Season Total
Constant Weeder457
Daniel Stratton035

Congratulations to all…

Yep. Preseason is over, and the Big Dance has begun. So the Prediction Game has, too.

With – as is almost much a Thorns tradition as getting shithoused by some Seattle asshole (Jess Fishlock, c’mon down!!!) – a meeting here in Portland against the Orlando Pride.

It’s been a couple of years now, but “Orlando on Opening Day” used to be a regular thing. They came here for their very first match, in April 2016, to receive their also-then-traditional hiding (2-1, FWIW, with Dagny and Horan strikes canceling out an early Steph Catley opener…). They returned in April 2017 and were sent home 2-nil losers (Nadim PK and Sinc).

We took a break from them in 2018, traveling to Cary for Opening Day and losing 1-nil.

But in 2019 we went to Disney World and spoiled their opener 0-2 (Foord and Heath).

For a couple of years the club veered away from the Orlando Opener, thumping Chicago here 5-nil in 2021 and then Kansas City 3-nil last season. But now the Mousketeers are back.

When we looked them over back in February the view was…complicated. Here’s what I said then:

“It’s so hard to be optimistic about this outfit. They’ve just been so bad for so long, it’s hard to fight my default assumption; “Orlando sucks”. There’s some quality there now, though. The draftees look promising. Adriana is good and as a group the Brazilians may be catalytic. The new keeper might be a rock. I’m actually surprised to hear myself saying this, but…I think these people will be better this year.

Will they be dangerous? Could well be! I have a funny feeling that this is going to be a much tougher team to face in 2023.

Can the Thorns beat them? Yes. We’re still better across the board. But I think the days of six-nil routs are gone, and we need to treat them with a bit more respect; in fact, I think they might just surprise us.”

Will they?

We’ll see Sunday.

In the meantime…welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! Come inside, come inside!

How all 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)
Kuikka (Free kick)
Moultrie (Unassisted)
Marta (PK)

Next, name the first yellow card recipient: Jess Fishlock
Then a red card. (NOTE: no points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.) Madison Pogarch for mimicking mooning the referee after getting an undeserved yellow.

Make your fun prediction,and give a “thumbs up” to anybody else’s prediction that tickles your fancy: “Pogarch gets the start against her former club. She gets through 70 minutes without fouling her former teammates until she can’t take it anymore. She pushes over Hina, gives Weaver a wedgie, gives Sinc a noogie, then flips off the Riveters and runs out of Providence Park, never to be seen again. The ref issues a red card, which she later contests, and loses.” (h/t to ABell4)

· 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.

John Lawes
Latest posts by John Lawes (see all)

16 thoughts on “The Thorns Prediction Game IV – A New Hope

  1. 3-0 Thorns win

    Smith (Hina)

    FW Moultrie
    RC Norris

    Instead of little kids lining up with the team,
    random people who actually look like the FIFA avatar of the players line up with the actual players pregame.

    They are holding up still printouts of the FIFA character as the jumbotron scans across the players.

    1. Well this team is not yet a tougher opponent then they were last year. Gave early season Sinc plenty to feast on. She was good against the worse teams early last year as well. 4-0 and 4 different goal scorers. To bad Sinc clipped the legs of the defender stoping her from adding her name to the score sheet.

      I hope more practicing and more games will get this high replacement Orlando team do better then they did today. This was a Lyon playing a domestic opponent not from Paris.

      It was a lot of fun being a Thorns fan.

      Portland starting off like they finished with Smith scoring and setting up 2 other goals, almost rounding the keeper like she did in the final for a second.

      I am looking forward to KC Current Saturday.

  2. 2-0
    We win in spite of ourselves.

    Weaver (Sinc)
    Sugita (Rocky)

    YC: Marta
    RC: Marta

    This game, ever after known as “the shit show,” and “the last time we saw Vasconcelos play” is marked by missed passes on all sides. In an effort to shore up all the turnovers, the Pride begins passing to the Thorns in hopes of reaching their own players, with some success. After Weaver and Sugita score early on, Marta is sent to try to even the score. Marta, finally back in the game, takes a number of exuberant shots, all blocked by Bella. Marta becomes increasingly irritated. At one point, when Kuikka strips Marta of the ball, Marta is so infuriated that she tosses Natu into the sidelines, earning her first yellow. The second quickly follows when she takes down Olivia. It wasn’t a terrible foul, but it’s just a bad look when a veteran of multiple world cups mugs a kid still learning to drive.

    1. I am delighted to be wrong about so much of how this game went. That game against OL Tacoma really had me down.

  3. 2-1 Thorns

    Smith (Dunn)
    Weaver (Sugita)

    Marta (unassisted)

    Melanie Strong shows up to lead the team in warmups. No one recognizes her except one Riveters capo, who yells it out to the crowd. A great roar arises that ultimately propels the players to the win.

  4. Also, John, how long did it take to come up with calling this Episode IV of the Thorns Prediction Game – and for the season opener – “A New Hope”? Clever, that!

    1. IV is six in Roman, right? At least by my count this is the sixth year of the TPG.
      OTOH, given Sinclair’s performance, “Return of the Jedi” might have been a good title.

      1. IV is actually 4. VI would be 6. If a smaller number like I comes before a bigger one like V or X, it means you subtract the smaller one, not add it.

        1. Sorry, I should have used the sarcasm font (if WordPress has one) for that,
          I do think, though, that this is year 6 of the Prediction Game.

    2. What’s funny is that I had to think hard about what number that flick had been given; it’ll always be “Star Wars” to me, same as it was when I went to see it at Lancaster Mall in 1977…

      Glad you all enjoyed my having fun with it.

  5. Wooooo! John, while we’re here- received a Championship scarf from you a few days ago and just wanted to say thank YOU! This was a welcome fun relief during an unsteady time, and hopefully I don’t miss getting my predictions in on time.

    Thorns 3-1

    I’m overwhelmed with excitement and short on time so no fun story for me. I do think this will be tougher than expected. The draft picks, plus Brazilians Marta and Adriana are a big boost to this side. My heart says 3, even though my brain says 2. Without knowing the best XI Norris starts, first prediction is a bit of a crapshoot.

    YC: Listro
    RC: Marta

    Smith (Weaver)
    Weaver (Dunn)
    Smith (Sugita)
    Adriana (Marta)

  6. Thorns 3-1 Pride

    Smith (Dunn)
    Smith (PK)
    Dunn (Weaver)
    Watt (Marta)

    YC: Celia
    RC: Pruitt

    Play is delayed briefly in garbage time when a snowball fight breaks out between the Orlando bench and field players. They apparently were overexcited by the white stuff.

  7. Thorns 3-0 Pride

    Smith (unassisted)
    Smith (Weaver)
    Dunn (Kuikka)

    YC: Sinc
    RC: Marta

    New coach Norris wears a hat during warmups. Why? To hide something that he reveals as the lineup is announced: A full Thorns-n-Roses, Ed Hardy tattoo covering his big bald noggin. LFG!!!

  8. 3-0 Thorns

    YC: Hina
    RC: Marta

    Too late for points but figured I’d weigh in 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.