The Thorns Prediction Game

Remember waaaaaay back in July? There was a soccer game? With Gotham? That the Replacements lost?

Seems like forever, dunnit?

Well, here we are again, with the World Cup (less the USWNT and (sob…) Japan and everyone but Spain and England) winding to the Final, and the NWSL resuming league play this coming weekend. So time for another Prediction Game.

How’d our punters look after Gotham? Here we are:

Campeon de AperturaPoints

Torneo de Clausura:

NameLast MatchThis MatchClausura Total
Daniel Stratton9413

Still pretty tight at the top, tho the Apertura champion seems to be resting on the first half laurels and ABell4 still has some struggles to answer the bell.

Sunday we get our first visit from the Damned Courage, currently sitting top by a point, and having taken 12 points from their last six matches (we’ve taken just nine over the same period). They’ve overcome early season struggles and recovered from the player exodus of last season to look damned dangerous once more.

Last meeting: May 6, 2023, WakeMed Soccer Park, 3-3 draw

This has nothing to do with soccer; it’s a sea otter in Canada, but it’s just wicked cute.

It’s difficult to say how this will play out, both this match as well as the late season run-up to the playoffs.

The last World Cup year – 2019 – the returning Portland internationals seemed to struggle with form that didn’t appear related to how they fared in France. Players who came home early, like Sinclair, didn’t seem any more exhausted (or any stronger) than the US players like Tobin Heath or Lindsey Horan who won it all.

Then everyone cratered in Black Autumn and the club crashed out in the semifinal.

This time?

The final seven matchdays are going to be an arms race; each head coach is going to have to:
1) assess their returning internationals’ physical and mental form, then
2) figure out how to get the best out of them, while
3) integrating them back into the squad, AND shaping that squad to win out.

Whoever gets that right? Could end up on top; only five points separate the top six right now; seven points are all that’s between the top eight.

A strong finishing run or a late collapse could be the difference between glory and despair, and an international or two returning with a chip on their shoulder(s) and plugged back into a well-organized squad might make all the difference there.

I’ll have a whole ‘nother post this week to discuss which Thorns might be that player.

For now, on to predicting:

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)

6 thoughts on “The Thorns Prediction Game

  1. 3-1
    Smith (Dunn)
    Dunn (Weaver)
    Sugita (Coffey)

    Kerolin (Lussi)

    YC O’Sullivan
    RC O’Sullivan

    I remember Sinclair’s first day back from the last world cup. I guess a player must have said something to her, because she knocked them down them like she was playing for Ireland. I have to assume that there’s going to be some trash talk on Sunday, too, and plenty of players getting their feelings out on the field. O’Sullivan actually *does* play for Ireland, so the cards are all hers this round. And maybe Sinc will go easy on her.

    1. I just hope that 1) Sinc isn’t a wreck, and 2) Norris uses her appropriately, i.e. sparingly, either as a late sub or even on the bench.

      I certainly don’t see her returning with the kind of grudge she may have been holding after 2019; the CWNT was a wreck in the WC and Sinc was a huge part of that mess. I hope she’s not gutted…but my guess is that she will be.

  2. 3-2


    YC Hubly
    RC Sinc

    Game has a streaker and Sinc is given a red card for elbowing the intruder in the back.

    1. Well fuck it. Hubly with the DOGSO red. Why did it have to be outside the box? DOGSO in the box would have been a first yellow. They scored from it anyway, why not a PK? Well at least Lussi scored even if I didn’t say free kick. Riveters were surprisingly respectful of the ref crew given the red card, I guess not being down at the half helps with that a lot.

      Betfort with a great touch and finish goal. Great pass from Moultrie. She might not have her scoring boots on but Olivia has her assist boots on. To be able to find her teammates making runs with a weighted pass like that fabulous. Great job by Hannah to quiet down the already silent maybe 12 people visiting section. The celebration matched the goal.

      First come from behind victory, first victory when tied at the half. Absolute poor air quality and poor visibility. In stadium TV was crystal clear, the field looked like a blur. Oh yes Smith showing she is back in the NWSL about 30 seconds in. Not her first touch as she gets her own hockey assist, but damn near close.

      This is the best coached game by Norris, ever. Not the highest bar, but he made sound sub choices. I was elated Moultrie or Rocky didn’t come off to shore up our defense after the early red card.

  3. 1-1


    Keroline (Lussi)

    YC- Coffey
    RC: OSullivan

    Gasping & choking on the bad air quality both teams stumble around Providence Park. No goals are scored ‘til the last moments when the goalies have passed out from all the smoke in the air


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