FM14 Level 8 USA Amateur Climb
Welcome to Trentini Stadium in the small town of Wake Forest, North Carolina. Built in 1940, formerly called Groves Stadium, Wake Forest University played here until they moved to Winston Salem in 1957. Since then its been home to Wake Forest Rolesville High School, and starting in January 2012, it became the new home of the Wake Forest Cougars, an amateur soccer team in the Appalachain Premier League, a fully amateur league centralized in NC/VA with some scattered teams elsewhere in the southeast. We've got 500 seats to try to fill and a lot of room to expand.
Head Coach/Management Setup
I live 3 blocks from the stadium (just like in the real world!), which is a good thing since I'm coaching this team for free and can't afford a car unless I'm able to take the team up a few ranks in the very deep United States soccer system.
37 year old Richard Dixon has no professional soccer experience, but that's ok, because no one around me does either.
I set things up so that my U18's and Reserves are managed by my staff, but they are going to be required to play the same formation as the senior team. I'll be doing absolutely everything else.
We'll look at the staff and players next. In part I chose to start with an amateur side because my options are limited and I can get right into playing games. But its safe to assume that absolutely everyone sucks. Morale will probably dictate a lot here, we could win the league or finish dead last, who knows. Ratings above 5 in technical skills are to be cherished. Injuries will be everywhere. Lets see what happens!
So as always with me and dynasties, I make no promises that this doesn't die in 2 days. Honestly a lot of it may depend on how easily I can get highlights uploaded, or how tedious I find it to upload a screenshot or two here and there to keep things interesting.
If I can get immersed in the team though and if we can make some progress, I really do intend to try for some crazy climb to MLS with a fake team from my hometown. I have found this concept pretty darn appealing and I've gotten into FM for the first time since my Woking/Ipswich dynasty from FM10.
Because I do want to go through all my players (which I haven't done yet) we'll probably start a little slow but once the season starts we should get through this first year pretty darn fast, by FM standards.
Getting food, and then we'll start the team review and see if we can rush through a few friendlies today.
Oh heck yes!!! I hope you do continue it, your other one was the best I've ever read on FM. I'll definitely be reading.
fwiw, I've enjoyed my 1+ year at Georgia Revolution thus far.
Wake Forest Staff
Dennis King - Assistant Coach - 32 y/o, Determination 11, Adaptability 10, discipline 9, everything else 5 or below. This is about what we expect at this level, though I will immediately look for a more determined coach if nothing else.
Fernando Johnson - Head of Youth Development - Adaptability 10, Discipline 11, Determination 7, everything else 4 or below. This is a role that I don't think existed in FM10, but since we don't expect to get much out of youth with the basically zero training we have, its not a big concern.
Samuel Glazer - Head Physio - Physiotherapy 5.
Jason Cunningham - Chief Scout - Judging Ability 3, Judging potential 3.
I fire my assistant, there are a number of coaches out there who look better, most of them are better "coaches" than assistant's, but at this level, I'll take that chance.
I also have room for one more staff member, so I'm looking to hire a regular coach to make our training a little less awful as well.
Yeah I had a lot of fun with my first trial run through this, enough to think it might be worth writing something up.
Before we get into the roster lets look at the schedule a bit. It's January 12th right now.
Appalachian Premier League - League play doesn't start until May 3rd, so we've got months before this.
Old North Cup - This is a small North Carolina based cup. Play for it starts February 19th. Its the first competitive event we'll see. This competition has 15 teams in it. There are two North Carolina teams in Level 3, the USL-PRO league, the Carolina Railhawks and Charlotte Eagles. Everyone else is scattered through the lower divisions. Winning a game in this tourney depends entirely on the draw.
North America Amateur Cup - This is a large tournament of amateur teams. The draw isn't until June. We can make some noise here if we get lucky.
North American Open Cup - This is a prestigious tournament within the US, it looks like our equivalent of the FA Cup. The great thing about this is that all the bottom tier teams get placed in groups for Phase 1, so we're guarenteed to get a lot of experience here. Group play starts in March and continues through the end of April. While we care about this tournament a lot, this will also give us a great chance to really get to know the team before league play starts. All the teams we will face in group are in the same level of division play as us. Its an 8 team group and 4 teams will advance.
We only have two friendlies scheduled over the next 6 weeks. My options for additional friendlies are non-existent, so I set up a couple games with the reserve team during the longer downtimes to help with our fitness.
At this point there's no reason to separate senior team from reserve from U18, so here's everything. I'll note where I expect guys to land. Projected Starter in bold.
Phil Harrington - 23 y/o - Agility 8, Positioning 5, Reflexes 7, Command of Area 7, Handling 8.
Clark Garcia - 16 y/o - Agility 8, Positioning 5, Composure 8, Decisions 6, Concentration 7, keeping attributes all 4-6.
James Barton - 16 y/o - Agility 8, Positioning 6, Reflexes 8, all other Keeper traits 3-5.
Harrington seems like the more talented guy, but only slightly. Garcia though with much better composure and decision making. I don't think its generally a good idea to run a 16 year old out there every game, so its very possible that I simply alternate starts between Harrington and Garcia for some time. Barton will likely rot.
For Defenders I tend to make judgements based on Fullback (defending) and Central Defender abilities, even though my right and left defenders may play up sometimes.
David Campbell - 21 y/o - Stamina 10, Positioning 5, Marking 2, Tackling 6 - Campbell is a better athlete, and has a better work rate than Rongen, more determined too.
Sean Rongen - 16 y/o - Stamina 5, Positioning 4, Marking 6, Tackling 6 - other key mental attributes all 6-7.
There are three primary DC's who can also play on the left side. We'll look at DC's first and see if any should be added to the depth chart here as primary left side defenders.
*Hernando Galvis - 24 y/o - Strength/Jumping 11, Determination 14, Positioning 4, Composure 5, Tackling 8, Heading 6, Marking 4 - With high determination and leadership, Galvis is the team captain. He can tackle a bit too if he lucks into the right position.
Jamie Marrow - 15 y/o - Str 8/Jump 13, Determination 10, Heading 8, Marking 5, Tackling 7 - all other noteworthy mental attributes 5 or 6. Marrow can also play both the left and right side of the defense acceptably, which I love for depth, especially at this level where injuries are going to happen.
Garry Garcia - 16 y/o - Str 7/Jump 7, Heading 7/Marking 8/Tackling 7, Mental attributes 4-5.
Steve Groves - 23 y/o - Str 12/Jump 13, Determination 9, Composure 7, Tackling 8, other ratings 3-5.
Joe Pickering - 15 y/o - Str 8/Jump 16, Composure 6, Concnetration 8, Decisions 2, DDetermination 8 - technical skills very poor
Don Burke - 24 y/o - Str 7/Jump 16, Technical and Mental attributes all 6 and below, nothing at all stands out.
There will probably be a lot of rotation here. Does the guy with a 7 composure but no ability to get his head on the ball trump the guy with a little technical skill but 2 decision making!? Galvis as one of the few leaders, and Marrow as a guy who can play anywhere on the back line get the early edge.
Bob Varela - 15 y/o - Sta 8/Accel 10, Positioning/Marking/Tackling all 6, Work Rate 9.
Joe Jackson - 26 y/o - Sta 11/Accel 7, Concentration 3, Work Rate 9, all other ratings 5 or 6.
Both Jackson and Varela are highly determined which I like in general. With one of these guys being a 15 year old though, the most likely scenario is that they simply rotate games if I don't sign another player here.
I almost never run wingers in a DML/DMR/AML/AMR position, but I did get really fond of the 4-4-2 diamond formation with a DMC/AMC in FM10. Lets see what roles we do well though and try to build around it.
Brian Williams - 16 y/o - sta 8/str 8/accel 5, marking 6/tackling 6/passing 7, decision 7/positioning 6/teamwork 9/work rate 9
Timothy Pena - 23 y/o - St9/Str 6/Accel 6, marking 4/tackling 9/passing 5, decision 1/positioning 4/teamwork 6/work rate 10/concentration 2
Both players are "unconvincing" at MC. Williams is probably the best all around player we've looked at so far. Pena leaves an awful lot to be desired and if I want to run a DMC anywhere close to full time I'd really really hope to replace him.
Luca Colangelo - 19 y/o - sta 5. crossing 5/passing 4/tackling 3. Anticipation 4/decisions 4/determination 5/off ball 4/teamwork 14/work rate 10
Adrian Salas - 16 y/o - sta 4. crossing 3/passing 3/tackling 1. Anticipation 3/decisions 1/determination 15/off the ball 6/teamwork 2/work rate 3
Dylan Rose - 16 y/o - sta 5. crossing 5/passing 5/tackling 1. anticipation 1/decisions 2/determination 12/off ball 1/teamwork 7/work rate 10 - Best at AML, but decent enough ML
Salas does have notable speed compared to most players on the team. I have Colangelo listed as my starter but would likely rotate the two at first and give Salas' speed a chance to make a difference.
Gary Glaser - 17 y/o - first touch 7/marking 5/passing 5/tackling 3. creativity 3/decisions 2/determination 7. off the ball 4/positioning 4/teamwork 7/work rate 11
Ashley Sandoval - 16 y/o - first touch 5/marking 2/passing 5/tackling 3. creativity 3/decisions 2/determination 7. off the ball 6/positioning 5/teamwork 7/work rate 12 - can play AMC secondarily
Bayard Perkins - 24 y/o - first touch 3/marking 6/passing 4/tackling 3. creativity 4/decisions 5/determination 9. off the ball 4/positioning 3/teamwork 5/work rate 9 - can play AMC secondariliy
Mark Shakespeare - 16 y/o - first touch 3/marking 5/passing 6/tackling 3. creativity 5/decisions 5/determination 10. off the ball 6/positioning 2/teamwork 4/work rate 9. Can play ML
Glaser/Sandoval get a slight edge due to teamwork/work rate, I suppose. Both of them with a slightly superior first touch too. There is a problem though that these are the only four MC's on the roster at any level. If I want to play a more standard 4-4-2, or a 4-1-4-1 which I had some success with before, I would need to sign a couple more players here unless I got miraculously lucky with injuries.
Ian Cooper - 16 y/o - sta 10. cross 8/passing 6/tackling 2. anticipation 3/decisions 3/determination 13. off ball 7/teamwork 4/work rate 8. - primarily AMR
Tim Reading - 25 y/o - sta 4. cross 6/passing 5/tackle 2. anticipation 3/decision 3/determination 13. off ball 2/teamwork 3/work rate 7.
Bo Thompson - 16 y/o - sta 5. cross 5/pass 5/tackle 3. anticipation 3/decisions 4/determination 13. off the ball 3/teamwork 4/work rate 7 - Primarily AMR
Gary Martin - 27 y/o - sta 5. cross 3/pass 3/tackle 2. Work rate only mental ability over 5. AMR/AML/MR.
Three of these guys are primarily attacking mids, though Cooper looks like he could work out real nice at the standard MR position as well. Martin is a waste of space no matter the position.
Central Attacking Mid
Ronnie Navarro - 16 y/o - Accel 6. Dribble 6/First Touch 7/Passing 6/Technique 3. Creativity 3/Decision 4/Flair 10/Off Ball 6/Work Rate 10
Ashley Sandoval - 16 y/o - Accel 12. dribble 2/first touch 5/passing 5/technique 4. creativity 3/decisions 2/flair 11/off ball 6/work rate 12.
Bayard Perkins - 24 y/o - Accel 7. Dribble 3/First Touch 3/Passing 4/Technique 6. Creativity 4/Decisions 5/Flair 10/Off Ball 4/Work Rate 9
So the problem here is that Navarro is primarily a striker and Sandoval/Perkins are primarily MC's and weaker attacking. Though to be honest they aren't great at either even by amateur standards. If I have enough other strikers I could see rotating Navarro/Sandoval here if I wanted to force my 4-4-2 diamond formation.
I am a little scared that I've looked at almost my entire roster and have no confidence in which formation is going to be best for us.
Ronnie Navarro - 16 y/o - Pace 9. Crossing 5/Dribble 6/Finish 5/Heading 4. Anticipation 2/Composure 5/Flair 10/Off Ball 6/Work Rate 10
Jonny Clark - 16 y/o - jump 14/str 10. finish 7/first touch 5/heading 5. Anticipation 6/Bravery 4/Determination 9/Teamwork 9/Work Rate 12.
Leon Roth - 16 y/o - pace 7. cross 2/dribble 4/finish 3/heading 5. Anticipation 4/composure 4/flair 5/off ball 7/work rate 9.
Only 3 strikers on the roster. Clark is listed best as a target man. He's pretty decent looking as an Advanced Forward too though, the only big hole there is poor pace. His flair is as good as Navarro's though.
So Now that I look this over more, it looks like we're really being pushed into a formation with wingers, which is fine, its just not something I've played in awhile.
Left Attacking Mid
Dylan Rose - 16 y/o - accel 9/agi 11/balance 9/pace 10. cross 5/dribble 4/technique 10. decision 2/flair 16/off ball 1.
Luca Colangelo - 19 y/o - accel 6/agi 8/balance 7/pace 7. cross 5/dribble 5/technique 5. decision 4/flair 16/off ball 4
Brian Davidson - 19 y/o - accel 9/agi 6/balance 9/pace 8. cross 5/dribble 5/tech 5. decision 4/flair 15/off ball 5.
Rose probably wins here despite being non-existant off the ball... he's the best athlete of the bunch with a big advantage in technique.
Right Attacking Mid
Ian Cooper - 16 y/o - Accel 4/Agi 6/Balance 5/Pace 9. Cross 8/Dribble 6/Technique 13. Decision 3/Flair 13/Off Ball 7
Gary Martin - 27 y/o - Accel 9/Agi 8/Balance 8/Pace 11. Cross 3/Dribble 3/Technique 3. Decision 2/Flair 10/Off Ball 5
Bo Thompson - 16 y/o - Accel 11/Agi 9/Balance 9/Pace 10. Cross 5/Dribble 2/Technique 5. Decision 4/Flair 14/Off Ball 3
Johnny Clark - 16 y/o - accel 5/agi 7/balance 5/pace 5. cross 5/dribble 5/technique 5. Decisions 5/flair 12/off ball 7.
Martin can play right and left side, though he's right footed only, so he's clearly better on the right. Cooper is the best technically by a ton, but less of an athlete.
So I think this gives us our answer. Our primary formation at least at the start of the season will be a 4-5-1 with a DMC, two central mids, and attacking mids on each side.
We have a lot of central defenders, even though they aren't really standouts, I could see more defensive options coming out of this being a 5-4-1, dropping the wingers back and subbing a DC for the DMC, and a 4-1-4-1 where we simply pull the wingers back to give us more of a defensive shape.
Player Acquisition Goals
With only 3 strikers on the roster and injury issues being what they are at this level, there is no way we are running any two striker formations. I'll probably try to pick up one striker no matter what just because injuries can pile up so badly.
I also need MC depth pretty badly, again knowing injuries will likely come, and knowing that none of these guys are great athletes and there will be a lot of player rotation happening, with only 4 MC's on the roster a single injury would destroy me.
From a talent perspective my second DMC looks awful, I really really want to replace him. Other than that, its hard to make any plans. No one is safe if I can find upgrades that want to come to Wake Forest, so it 100% depends on the market. So that's the next step, to get my scout moving and to start to figure out what moves I can make.
I officially set my tactics to 4-5-1, 5-4-1, and 4-1-4-1. I set us up for fitness training, hoping to get these guys fit ASAP so I can start working on tactics, because its going to take more than a full year to learn any tactic even reasonably well.
We welcome 27 y/o Spencer Wadsworth to Wake Forest as our new assistant coach. Determination 19, Adaptability 12, Discipline 11, Motivating 5. His coaching is awful, but no worse than the dude we just fired, so overall this is a nice upgrade.
30 y/o John Sammons also joins us as a coach. 16 determination/18 discipline/7 attacking/6 technical, he'll coach up a little offense and take a little pressure off our assistant.
January 18th - Senior vs Reserve Match
I'm pretty careful about setting this one up as I want my starter and backup from each position on the senior squad so I can control playing time. Normally I fly through friendlies but lets watch this one since its the first time we've ever actually seen these players.
16: We give up a goal on a free kick, a cross and header not stopped. 0-1
17: Free kick from near midfield, the ball is played into a very crowded box, it hits someone and falls to the ground, Sandoval is first to it and slams it into the net. 1-1
44': AMR Cooper is hurt and has to come off. Martin is in as his backup.
45': first highlight in almost 30 minutes, a crappy shot from 30 yard out that wasn't remotely close from Sandoval.
HALF: DC Marrow and MC Glaser have minor injuries too.
58': Wholesale subs here to get everyone a little time running around in a sort of real match.
82': We have a really nice play off an interception near midfield, one pass ahead from a DC to a mid, a lobbed ball into the box and a nice volley from our backup striker Roth, but Roth was called offsides. Still nice to see the play.
Wake Forest 1 : 1 Wake Forest Reserves
Man of the Match: Ashley Sandoval (MC)
Notables: Sandoval (7.3)
Everyone else on the team is in the 6.4-6.8 range. No one played badly really.
The bane of amateur teams with worthless physios and awful training, a lot of people are going to get hurt trying to prepare for the season:
AMR Ian Cooper - out 9-12 days with a bruised shin.
DC Jamie Marrow - 6-8 days, dead leg.
Not bad, We get out of our first friendly without month+ injuries, I'll take it!
I don't think we learned a whole lot though. And our next two opponents are in much higher divisions, so I don't know if we get a lot out of this except for fitness until the North American Open Cup starts.
No luck with the integrated youtube, this took like 15 minutes of upload/processing time, but at least its a solution:
After a few days my scout has given me a nice big list of local players to look through. I end up making offers to players at numerous positions, if all of them were accepted it would overhaul the team quite a bit. We'll see who is interested though.
24 y/o DL Danny Coggins joins us from North Meck Soccer Club, where he was a reserve. They're a division above us, so he's come here for the promise of playing time.
Marking 6/Tackling 7, Accel 9/sta 8, Anticipation 5, Concentratio 8, Positioning 6/Teamwork 5/Work Rate 9.
His Marking and Tackling are as good or better than anyone else we have on the roster, without really giving away anything anywhere else. Coggins will come in and immediately start.
20 y/o MC Jhonatan Mora - I didn't misspell the first name. That's Jhon.
First Touch 12/Marking 4/Passing 5/Tackling 2. Creativity 2/Decisions 4/Determination 14. Off Ball 4/Positioning 2/Teamwork 8/Work Rate 12.
Not very good outside of probably having the best first touch on the entire team. But remember that we only have 4 Central Mids on the entire roster, and our options were limited. Without a lot of highly skilled technical players I take the guy with the best determination and work rate.
He's also the best athlete, pretty fast, and a natural fitness of 17, which might help at these injury prone super low levels.
That was a lot of writing to say "meh, a rotation player unless he shows himself to be better on the field" :P
16 y/o DR Steve Arroyo
Arroyo was a U18 player for the Richmond Strikers, yet another player a tier above us who joins to the promise of playing time.
Marking 10/Tackling 9, Anticipation 8/Positioning 8/Teamwork 8/Work Rate 12. Stamina 10. Those numbers are basically spectacular for this level. His all around technical skills make him the best defender on the team and its not even close. He is slow, with an acceleration of 3, and a concentration of 3, so perhaps prone to lapses, but the guys we had in place there couldn't concentrate on the game much better.
This gives us two very young players that will simply rotate every game at DR.
23 y/o MC/DMC Jose Alejandro Tapia
This is the first player we've signed away from a team in our own league. Tapia left the Twin City Patrol to join us, even with only a promise of being a rotation player.
First Touch 6/Marking 5/Passing 7/Tackling 5.
Creativity 6/Decisions 5/Determination 7. Off Ball 5/Positioning 5/Teamwork 5/Work Rate 6.
Most of those numbers are ok, he's nice and consistent without any 1's scattered in critical spots, but the low teamwork/work rate could be a problem since he's just more consistent than most... not actually all that much better. Anyway, he'll get in the rotation at MC.
Additionally, he can play DMC, which could be helpful since I don't really like my backup there, but I couldn't find better on the market so I'm keeping him.
I guess I am getting everyone I went after!
26 y/o GK Amidu Gyan
4 Aerial/6 Command of Area/Handling 7/One on One 4/Reflexes 4
Composure 9/Concentration 7/Decisions 6/Positioning 8/Agility 9
Gyan is *very* slightly worse in the air (4 compared to 5), 1v1 (4 vs 6), and has notably worse reflexes (4 v 7), but is dominantly better across the board mentally, +5 composure, +3 concentration, +4 decisions, +3 positioning.
I think this makes Gyan the very clear starter and, along with DR Arroyo, likely the best new signing to date.
Gyan was a reserve keeper for the Greensboro Rangers, a semi-pro team many tiers above us. Gyan wasn't being paid and wasn't playing though. Given my impression of his ratings and knowing that I tend to start the same keeper every match, I went ahead and gave him key player status.
An AMR we were trying to sign got hurt in the last couple days and is out long term, so that transfer was cancelled. I also made a bid for a very promising looking 15 year old Striker, but he signed with a team in a higher division. So we're not getting everyone :)
We host CASL Chelsea, a team we can play because they're nearby. They're in a much higher league than us though and we're probably going to get smashed and as a result are going to try to breeze through this one.
I do start all my new players today.
We're scoreless at halftime, with neither team putting a shot on target yet. I make all my changes around the 60 minute mark, again just worrying about fitness here.
My backup AMR gets hurt after going in.
80th minute we have a nifty give and go to get ST Roth a clean look in front of the keeper, and he puts it wide.
Wake Forest 0 : 0 CASL Chelsea
A good result for us, most ratings in the 6.6-6.8 range, new MC Jhon Mora with a 6.2. Neither team put a shot on target all match.
My new keeper Amidu Gyan was man of the match.
AMR Bo Thompson twists his knee and is out 4-5 weeks. Our starting AMR went down in our first friendly, but not for too long, so this doesn't hurt us too much yet.
24 y/o AMR Ryan Crook - Another guy who was a reserve one division above us, not my first choice but not bad really.
Crossing 6/Dribbling 7/Technique 8
Decisions 6/Flair 13/Off Ball 4
Accel 8/Agi 7/Balance 9/Pace 6
Crook likely immediately becomes my backup AMR, competing with Ian Cooper, and likely rotating with him since Cooper is 16 years old.
16 y/o ST Samir Pace Pace was also playing on a team above us.
Dribbling 5/Finishing 4/Heading 3
Anticipation 2/Composure 7/Flair 8/Off Ball 5/Work Rate 11/Pace 10
Not great by any stretch, but he pretty much holds up at the same level as our other attackers, and I do fear that 3 won't be enough with injury problems. Pace will get his chances.
With that, we have signed 7 new players, a lot more than I expected would come here. Three of them are clear starters (GK/DR/DL), one of them will be in full rotation (AMR), and the other three are in a mix of depth where I have no expectations for them (MC/MC/ST).
That may simply end up being too many players if we don't suffer injury problems, but I expect injury problems. Still at some positions (GK and AMR mainly where we had full depth already even to account for an injury) we may end up cutting the odd man out as a result of the signings, if the guys pushed down the depth chart aren't willing to play on the reserves or U18's all year.
League odds come out, despite league play not starting for 3 more months. But at this crap level really no one has any idea, and every team in the league is given equal 7-4 odds.
We hit Feb 1 as the transfer deadline passes, but we've already made all our moves. And hell free transfers are always allowed, so its a bit of a meaningless day for us.
We get a $10k jersey sponser, which seems like a lot for a completely amateur team.
Friendly #3 - Feb 1st
We host the drastically better Raleigh Pioneers today, again just caring about fitness. Games are getting closer, hang in there!
35': We've actually dominated so far, posession and chances. Our new ST Pace has had a couple shots on target. I've also seen a nice long ball from one of our new MC's, and a nice cross from AML Dylan Rose into the box, some decent play here.
But, we make it to the half scoreless.
48': My new DR signing Arroyo, the one I've hyped as probably my best defensive player now... gets hurt and has to leave the match. Uhoh.
56': Time for those fitness subs.
The fans must be bored with these matches, they don't even get to see the bigger club come into town to run up the score on us.
Wake Forest 0 : 0 Raleigh Pioneers
MC Jhon Mora is man of the match with a 7.0 rating. 6.4-6.8 for everyone else.
No long term injury for Arroyo, thank god.
MC Ashley Sandoval got hurt near the end of the match though and will miss about 10 days.
Old North Cup Draw
This is the tournament for North Carolina teams. This will be our first competitive match in about 2 1/2 weeks. We could draw a USL team and get smashed 5-0, or draw a division opponent and have a good opening contest.
Ugh, wow. 13 other teams in this stage, and we get the most difficult one, the Charlotte Eagles from the top USL league. We get it at home at least!
FWIW, agreeing to participate in the media coverage of deadline day was a very good move for me (one I'd never done before since I only recently converted to FM 14).
The rumors page proved to be a wealth of information about which previously unknown to me players needed to be scouted & ultimately led to me stealing a badly needed legit backup GK just days before the start of my 2nd season at the helm of the Georgia Revolution. (My scouts had turned up nothing better than a 0.5 current, I now have a 3.5 current as my backup/possible rotation guy)
Friendly #4 - Feb 8th
Our last friendly, against the Reserves. I change up a lot of the starters juts for playing time reasons.
We draw a penalty early on as AMR Cooper is fouled in the box. MC Shakespeare takes the PK and scores. Not a lot of action the rest of the half.
DMC Williams picks up a minor injury and I don't want him getting hurt long term if I can stop it so i sub him out right away.
AML Colangelo gets a goal in the 61st minute, and after it we make our wholesale subs for the fitness.
We win this one easily, as we should.
Wake Forest 2 : 0 Wake Forest Reserves
AML Luca Colangelo is man of the match with 1 goal and a 7.4 rating.
Shakespeare with a 6.8 rating and the other goal. DL Coggins 7.3 on an assist, Cooper 6.8 with an assist. No poor ratings out there, 6.4+.
DMC Brian Williams is out for about 2 weeks. He'll likely miss our cup match, but won't miss anything that we can actually win, so that's good.
Most of our players aren't match fit yet, some are getting there though. I'll get my guys into reserves matches and U18 matches for fitness when possible, and our Cup match is really just another warmup with the crap draw.
I'll also see if I can get another friendly or two scheduled after our Cup match since there's another long downtime period.
Oh that's interesting, I went through it the very first career I messed around with and have been skipping it since, I'll take a closer look next time.
Season Ticket Sales
80 people have nothing better to do than to buy season tickets to see the Wake Forest Cougars. I guess our squad does run about 35 men deep, and many of those are 15-17 years old, so I assume most of those tickets are parents and siblings.
We're starting to see bids made on our players, if its a team in our league trying to poach a player I probably won't mention it unless the player chooses to leave. I will make note of higher level clubs swooping in. And of course, actual player movement.
DC Steve Groves leaves us to sign with the Blacksburg Bears. Groves was my 3rd, maybe 4th best DC, so its not a huge loss, but it is a loss of a player who would have seen significant minutes.
February 19th, 2014
Old North Cup First Round
Wake Forest Cougars (APL) vs Charlotte Eagles (USL-PRO)
Odds: Wake Forest Win: 20-1 Draw: 11-2 Charlotte Win: 1-14 (Favorite)
DC: Galvis (c)
SUBS: Tapia (DM/MC), Martin (AMR/L), Pace (ST), Pickering (D LC), Williams (DMC - just off injury), Sandoval (MC), Varela (DR)
It'll take me a little while to figure out a good rotation of subs.
Yeahhhhh... look at those odds. This is the almost certainly the most difficult opponent we will face this year. We could literally go 3 or 4 years without facing an opponent of this caliber outside of a friendly and it would not be a surprise.
We come out with a defensive mindset. I instruct my players to retain possession when possible and go at a slow tempo. Lets drag this out on the chance that Charlotte has a bad day.
10': They get into the area twice here, but a shot from the right side is blocked.
14': A poor pass by Charlotte gives us an interception in their end, a through ball goes into the box but it reaches the keeper before Navarro can run onto it. The keeper with a long pass, a run down the left, cross into the box and their man Bates volleys it in. 0-1
20': Another bad pass on their side gives us possession, Rose with a ball down the left side for Navarro, he crosses into the box for Cooper who heads it but wide. But its a decent looking attack against this caliber of opponent.
22': Cross into the area for their guy Bates, its a clear cut chance but Gyan blocks it. They get a corner though, and they get a head to the set piece and score. 0-2
31': A nifty quick 2 passes after a long ball sets them up for another easy goal. 0-3
HALF: They outshoot us 8-2, with 5 on target, none for us. About what was expected.
59': Rose finds Navarro for an easy goal but Navarro was literally standing in the 6 yard box by himself when the pass was made. Just a little bit offsides.
80': They have one disallowed too for offsides.
80': Martin, Sandoval and Tapia in for Cooper, Shakespeare and Mora, just subbing out tired guys.
Wake Forest 0 : 3 Charlotte
No one below a 6.0 on our side, Arroyo actually held up a 6.8, not bad.
Our reserves only play once between now(Feb 19th) and our next match on March 8th. I get a friendly scheduled for March 1st to keep us playing.
Again fwiw, I found it damned near impossible to find friendlies that a) your board will allow on the road and b) other clubs deem worthy of the trip to play at your place. Trips to/from Chattanooga to Conyers, GA were "too far". And after losing to the Silverbacks U18s 8-0 I decided that wasn't the best plan either.
Just adds to the fitness issues which are already tough enough.
DL Sean Rongen hurts an ankle in training and is out 6-8 weeks. He's on the reserve team and 3rd on the depth chart, at best, but worth noting a long injury like that as it puts us at risk if another DL gets hurt.
So I had the team on fitness training early on. Were reaching a point where we're going to be playing weekly for awhile and hopefully fitness won't be an issue anymore, so its time to switch to tactics training. Our mastery of our tactics are non-existent. Based on my trials runs doing this, it will take into next season before we're good at any of them.
March 1st - Friendly
We host the Carolina Dynamo, a team in a lower level USL league, still light years ahead of us, but not quite Charlotte Eagles level.
We give up 5 shots and 1 goal in the first half and get nothing of note ourselves. No injuries though!
51': midfield possession for us, a pass to Shakespeare about 30 yards out, he knocked it into the area and Navarro gets behind the defense and is first to it, their keeper rushes out but can't stop it, goal!!!
55': They quickly answer back, but who cares, whee!
70': After giving up a 3rd goal we sub out our guys.
76': A throwin in enemy territory, Tapia with a cross into the box, Martin is there unmarked, heads it and its by the keeper and into the right side of the net!
88': Tapia with a ball down the right sideline, Martin gets to it before his defender (who is hurt and not moving fast), its a cross from the right sideline, Pace gets a very awkward head to it, but somehow the keeper dives wrong for it, and it dribbles its way into the net in slow motion. Goals upon goals!!!
I can only get so excited about a friendly, but we put together some nice moves in that one.
Wake Forest 3 : 3 Carolina Dynamo
Man of the Match: Gary Martin (8.0)
Goals: Martin, Navarro (7.0), Pace (7.4)
Assists: Martin, Tapia (7.0), Shakespeare (6.8
Arroyo with a 6.1, no one below that today.
Well that was more exciting than I ever imagined it would be.
The next 7 weeks will all be matches against competition at our level in the early group stage of the North American Open Cup. I'm excited to have officially made it through the preseason, now we can really get focused on competitive play.
Yeah. I do have some advantage in that there are three teams in Raleigh (Raleigh Pioneers, CASL Chelsea and Carolina RailHawks), which distance wise is probably the equivalent of getting to downtown Atlanta from Alpharetta when there's no traffic, maybe a little further.
The Carolina Dynamo are in Greensboro but are big enough to be able to make the 90 minute drive to Wake Forest apparently, and the USL team in Charlotte that just smashed us in the Old North Cup is sometimes an option.
I expect a very heavy dose of those teams for the forseeable future in friendlies. I'm very surprised we didn't lose one of those in an 8-0 fashion.
I have no problem scheduling my reserves as needed, but it can be a little annoying to micromanage which players are available for the reserves to make sure each side has a full roster.
Here is our group for the upcoming North American Open Cup. We play each team once, top 4 advance.
DC Jamie Marrow leaves Wake Forest for league rival Blacksburg Bears. Marrow was going to start for us and this is a pretty big blow.
With the recent departure of DC Steve Groves, this now leaves us with 4 central defenders in our organization. 16 y/o Garry Garcia and 15 y/o Joe Pickering will attempt to fill in for Marrow. We will immediately begin searching for a new DC, for depth/injury insurance if nothing else.
Marrow was also the team's Vice Captain (our other starting DC Galvis is captain). I select AMR Ian Cooper as my new vice captain.
We quickly find a new DC.
27 y/o Tommy Lassiter is leaving the NC Fusion reserves (one tier up) to get the chance to start for Wake Forest.
Heading 8/Marking 5/Tackling 10
Composure 4/Concentration 6/Decisions 4/Determination 4/Positioning 6
Jumping 9/Str 11
Lassiter is equal or better than the other defenders we had as backups and will likely get a lot of playing time, very posssibly becoming our second starter. Lassiter also has the advantage of being able to play fullback on either side adequately.
He is also nowhere near match fit and will be playing with the reserves probably for a few weeks.
AMR Gary Martin has followed Jamie Marrow to the Blacksburg Bears. Martin has been featured prominently in our friendlies and was not going to start but was going to get a ton of playing time.
AMR is a position where we have significant depth and Ryan Crook will step in as the backup (and likely in full rotation) with youngster starter Ian Cooper.
Some good news on the player movement front, DMC Brian Williams was offered a position with a higher tier club, North Meck SC, and turned them down. He's one of our key starters in what should be a pretty solid defense, relative to our level of course. I was very worried about losing him.
March 8th, 2014
North American Open Cup Phase 1 Group O
Cedar Hill Lakers (SSD) vs Wake Forest Cougars (APL)
Cedar Hill 5-4 (fav)
Wake Forest: 7-4
Our captain, DC Hernando Galvis had a nasty cold earlier in the week. He's back and available but nowhere near full strength yet. With no chance of going 90 minutes, I decide to rest him today.
On the road, we start in a defensive mindset. This will likely be my default mode for awhile even with this aggressive formation.
19': We dodge a bullet as Garcia completely misplays a long ball giving their striker a clear cut chance against us. He fails horribly at getting on target though.
22': Our best chance so far as Navarro makes a run down the right and into the box for a shot. He has a man close by so its not uncontested, but it was a decent look.
38': Bot of our attacking mids have picked up minor injuries... ugh.
HALF: Scorless at the break. We outshoot them 4-3 and have the only shot on target so far. They are playing pretty aggressive, committing 11 fouls against us already.
I sub in Ryan Crook for Ian Cooper at AMR, gotta make sure at least one of my starting mids doesn't get hurt worse.
49': Crook with a nice run down the right, a floated cross, Navarro heads it and its deflected wide, Corner. Corner comes in, and there's a penalty!!!! MC Jhon Mora is going to take it, he calmly puts it into the lower left corner. 1-0
72': our new signing Lassiter comes in for DL Coggins, who isn't hurt, but must have taken a beating out there, his fitness tanked and isn't coming up all that quickly. Lassiter isn't match fit, so this is a risk.
73': Cedar Hill goal kick, we get it near midfield, Navarro takes a pass and is off to the races, running by a defender and getting a great look as the keeper rushes out. He lobs it over the keeper... but just wide.
76': A long ball down the right comes in for Cedar Hill, they win the header, sending it into the box. ST Perez rushes behind our defense and Garcia and Pickering aren't even moving. its a 1 on 1 with the keeper, who doesn't have a chance here. Easy goal for Cedar Hill. 1-1
80': They have it in our end, a pass to the near post and their man has it on top of the goal, but a little wide and its crowded back there. He can't find an angle to score.
82': MC Sandoval comes in for Mora.
90': Tapia to Lassiter, he volleys it foward from midfield, Navarro is there, evades one tackle, fires a shot... the keeper gets his hands to it, but doesn't stop it, the ball goes high into the air, comes down and slowly bounces into the goal. That should be a last minute victory for Wake Forest! 2-1
Cedar Hill Lakers 1 : 2 Wake Forest Cougars
Man of the Match: Ronnie Navarro (7.3)
Goals: Navarro, Jhonathan Mora (6.9)
Assists: Joe Pickering (6.8), Tommy Lassiter (6.8)
Notables: Danny Coggins (7.0)
Navarro's game winner!
-- We receive $7,750 for our win today, a pretty huge amount for a team our size.
-- AML Dylan Rose will miss about a week with the injury he picked up today.
Not bad, but enough that he'll miss our next match.
The Blacksburg Bears poach a third Cougar, today signing 16 y/o ST Jonny Clark. Clark was dead last on the depth chart, so I can't say I'm shocked to see him go.
I've mentioned before that this will be a season long process:
Yeah... we have a long way to go.
March 15th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Wake Forest Cougars (1-0-0, 3rd) vs Port Charlotte Barracudas (0-1-0, 5th)
Galvis is back to full fitness and a clear starter. Shakespeare and Colangelo get their first starts today, the latter due to Rose's injury. Eventually we'll have a lot more squad rotation than this week to week, but I'm happy with small changes for now.
Defensive Mindset today.
9': Some lengthy possession by Port Charlotte, there's a cross from the left side from Akin to ST Grey, he controls it reasonably well at the edge of the box, blasts a shot on a half volley and its in. No chance to stop that. It'd also be off target 95 times out of 100. 0-1
10': Cooper down the right, a low cross into the 6 yard box, Navarro volleys it in! Looked easy! 1-1
28': A goal kick from Gyan lands on the foot of Navarro about 30 yards out, the defense isn't really there... the keeper rushes out, Navarro shoots, and its just wide.
37': AML Colangelo with a minor injury.
39': Port Charlotte are dominating posession. I tell the team to hold onto the ball a little more.
43': A pass from Colangelo to Navarro about 20 yards from goal, the defense again isn't quite there, this is another clear cut chance, though not as easy as the last. The keeper gets to this one and stops it.
HALF: Pretty slow after the two quick strikes in the first 10 minutes. They dominate possession but shots are pretty even, and minimal on both sides. Their goal was pretty lucky though and we're generating better chances.
Sandoval in, Colangelo out. Sandoval at MC, Shakespeare to AML.
56': We are definitely controlling posession better now. Lots of midfield passing, then sent out to the right to Cooper, he gets into the penalty area, centers it, Navarro and a defender are there, the ball kind of settles in between them and this is where amateur play gets hilarious. They both stare at it for a moment, not knowing what to do. Then Navarro kicks it into the defenders legs, and its finally cleared.
60': Navarro out, Samir Pace in. Entirely fatigue related.
73': Pena in at DMC for Williams.
79': Maybe I should be ok with a slow draw, but eh, we're at home. Lets not hold the ball as much and lets open up and attack some.
80': Really pretty movement between Pace and Cooper. Pace sends it out to Cooper, Cooper holds the ball and draws the defense, the pops it back into the middle of the box, Pace runs onto it nicely and scores! 2-1
85': Wow. Gyan with a save... one of our DC's, Garcia, is slowly walking away from him. Gyan drops the ball and kicks it... right into Garcia. The ball bounces off Garcia, over Gyan's head and into the net. 2-2
88': Its another quick strike for Port Charlotte, a pass into the middle of the area from the left side, the defense is there, but its a nice shot under pressure and Gyan can't make the stop. 2-3
And that's it, a crushing defeat due in part to a silly, fluky own goal.
Wake Forest 2 : 3 Port Charlotte
One of their goal scorers, defender Frankie Gray, is man of the match.
Goals: Navarro (7.1), Pace (7.2)
Assists: Cooper 2 (7.3)
6.1 ratings from Arroyo and Garcia in defense today.
Pace's goal that briefly gave us the lead.
The own goal. Never seen anything like it. Amateurs!
I don't intend to pump out this many highlights all the time, excitement for the new season I suppose :)
Oh, and a guy telling us about issues with his League of Legends match in mumble made it in the recording, oops! I'll have to be more careful about that too hah.
AML Luca Colangelo was hurt in that loss and is going to miss 3 weeks. We call Brian Davidson up from the reserve squad for now.
... days later
AML Dylan Rose is hurt in training and is going to miss about 10 days, so he's going to be out for another match.
March 22nd, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Rhode Island Reds (2-0-0, 1st) Wake Forest Cougars (1-0-1, 3rd)
-- Rhode Island has two wins, 6-0 and 4-0.
Lots of changes today, only the DC's, DMC, Cooper at AMR and the keeper stay the same.
Defensive Mindset today. Retain possession from the start.
2': A lob down the left side gets one of their forwards in a good spot, he's into the left side of the area, shoots... saved by Gyan. We stop the corner.
29': Some midfield control, a pass ahead to Pace, a through ball into the area for Cooper, its a clear cut chance... but he pushes it wide left.
HALF: And that's it, very very boring. I'm ok with that. Pace has a minor injury. I'm bringing Navarro in for the 2nd half.
65': Throwin for them at midfield, they throw it towards their own end but the defender doesn't collect it. Navarro is there and has a 1 on 1 with the keeper.. and he sends it way high. Clear cut chance and that needed to score.
72': Pena in for Williams, Mora in for Tapia.
87': Pena with a free kick from just outside the area, its on target, but saved pretty easily.
89': Davidson to Navarro, he cuts out wide and goes deep near the end line, a low cross into the 6 yard box, Mora is there... but off a defender and out for a corner. They clear the corner.
93': A goal kick sent long by Gyan, Navarro gets it and these amateur defenders just suck in these spots. Navarro into the area, 1 on 1 again with the keeper... who saves it. Damn!
Rhode Island 0 : 0 Wake Forest
DC Garcia with a 6.3 today, everyone else 6.6-6.8. Their keeper is man of the match.
So I'm happy getting a draw on the road against a team that scored 10 goals in their first two cup matches. I'm less happy with the fact that we had 2 breakaways and 4 clear cut chances and failed to score.
With 3 out of 7 matches played we're in a solid enough position here and could still easily advance.
our backup ST Samir Pace has a thigh strain and is out for 4-5 weeks.
March 29th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Wake Forest Cougars (1-1-1, 4th) vs Garden Grove Boomers (2-0-1, 3rd)
Pickering in for Garcia at DC, Garcia hasn't been good at all. Lassiter is still working on his fitness after joining the team. I'm hoping he can get a start in 2 weeks. Gary Glaser gets his first start in the midfield.
Standard mindset today at home
12': Corner for Wake Forest. Its lofted into the area, Glaser goes up for the header, he's fouled, penalty!! Mora takes it and scores! 1-0
22': We face two shots in a very crowded penalty area after some buildup on the right from Garden Grove. One shot off the bar, one is blocked.
23': Defensive time.
28': We control possession in their end, Williams to Mora, Mora sends it into the left side of the area, AML Davidson gets to it, shoots from the left side, and its in!! 2-0
37': A cross in from Garden Grove, Gyan turns it behind and its a corner. Corner comes into the 6 yard box. Gyan probably should have been able to get it, but an attacker was there to put it in. 2-1
HALF: We still lead at the half but the 2 goal lead would have been nicer.
54': Navarro takes a free kick from 25 yards out, the keeper has to dive to make the stop, but he does stop it.
58': Coggins makes an interception in the back and passes it up to Davidson. Davidson with a run down the left side... a hilarious run, he barely kept control of the ball without a defender in sight, total amateur play. But he gets a cross into the far side of the area, AMR Crook is there, runs down to the baseline, two defenders there.. he keeps control of the ball and is able to get a pass to the center, Navarro is there and blasts it in!! Pretty ugly looking outside of the finish but it totally counts! 3-1
65': Corner from Garden Grove, its sent near post and headed into the side net.
69': Shakespeare in for Davidson at AML, Lassiter in for Pickering at DC.
88': Cross in from the right for Garden Grove, a header from about 8 yards out... wide and high, not a bad look though.
92': A shot from 20 yards out for Garden Grove, Gyan pushes it away to the right, but it stays in play. They get to it and cross, headed out by the defense.
That's it, nice win!!
Wake Forest 3 : 1 Garden Grove
Man of the Match: Jhonathan Mora (8.7)
Goals: Mora, Davidson (8.3), Navarro (7.4)
Assists: Mora, Glaser (7.1), Crook (6.8)
Notables: Arroyo (7.1), Coggins (7.0)
We move into 2nd place with the win, but there's only 2 points separating 5th and 1st, so its still really wide open.
-- We get another $7,750 for the win here. Money in the bank.
(1) Where did you get that mod?
(2) Is there a Hawaii team in there? I always thought about doing this kind of thing with a team from Hawaii.
Front Office Football Central - View Single Post - Football Manager 2014 - Full Game Out Now!
Someone on the SI Foriums released the mod, but there were some issues with it, our own AnalBumCover did the work to clean it up here.
As for Hawaii, I'm on my laptop so don't have the game open right now, but downloading that file and searching through it, I did find a team named Honolulu, so there's at least one!
You could use the editor if you wanted to move teams around.
The team I'm playing in Wake Forest isn't in the mod by default. I edited things myself to move a nearby team there.
If/when I get FM14, I'm so downloading this mod as it'd lend itself to a more story-based dynasty rather than me just screaming in fury at the game.
Will be following this with interest.
I'm not familair with the set up in the US at that level, is there any element of promotion or relegation?
This is a fictional mod that does include promotion/relegation.
What britrock said, completely fictional US System. The higher level teams all exist, and some of the low level ones do in some form (like development academy teams), but not in the same sense that they do in the game.
MLS sits at the top but with relegation and without a draft, etc.
-- We learn that AMR Ian Cooper and DR Steve Arroyo trained well this month. Cooper is noted to have made small gains in Anticipation, Concentration, Leadership and Teamwork. Arroyo with gains in dribbling and many mental attributes including positioning and composure.
-- The board is satisfied with my leadership. The signing of Jhon Mora is a plus, and its also noted that we made $22,220 profit last month, showing how important those $7750 rewards for cup victories are to us.
-- backup ML Luca Colangelo has resumed full training. 3rd stringer Davidson did pick up a goal in our last match and has probably earned a bit more playing time though.
April 5th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Wake Forest Cougars (2-1-1, 2nd) vs Root River Bandits (1-1-2, 6th)
-- We can't clinch advancement today but a win would make it extremely likely.
Leon Roth gets his first start at striker, some rotation elsewhere, and Rose is back in at AML as soon as he's healthy.
Standard mindset at the start.
19': Gyan has to make a save on a shot from 35 yards out, damn thing almost floated in.
31': Now their keeper does the same... really poor cross from Cooper on a long free kick, but it almost surprises the keeper.
HALF: 5 shots taken, all 5 on target (2 from us, 3 from them), but only 2 of them were even shown in highlights. A pretty crappy first half. I tell the guys to attack more in the second half.
47': A counter by Root River after an interception, a long ball to a striker that Garcia misdjudges badly, leading to a pass and shot from about 15 yards out.. Gyan with the save though, and a corner is poorly taken into the side net.
55': Another long ball from Root River poorly defended, a shot from their striker Lee is saved.
64': Tapia with a though ball into the penalty area after some buildup on our offensive end. Roth makes a run, and he's brought down from behind! That's a penalty! Yellow card for hteir defender Elliot. MC Glaser takes it and scores easily! 1-0
66': Two shots off a corner for us, but easily saved.
69': Long ball from Glaser, Roth gets behind the defense and has a 1 on 1 with the keeper.. except he either can't control the ball or just doesn't know how to shoot. He holds it up in the penalty area until a defender arrives, and the defender blocks it.
70': Davidson in for Rose at AML.
71': Cooper down the right side, a low cross into the area, Roth is there... shoots, and scores! The ellipses there wasn't for dramatic effect. Its for the delay between the time that Ross got his foot onto the ball to stop it, and actually setting up and taking the shot. The defense is just as bad as he is at least. I'm not seeing this kind of stutter from Navarro when he receives a pass usually, I assume that means something. 2-0
75': Lassiter in for Garcia, Pena in for Williams at DMC.
92': One last chance for them, a header off a long free kick is wide.
92': A last minute yellow card for defender Manzo for Root River.
Wake Forest 2 : 0 Root River Bandits
Man of the Match: Leon Roth (8.0)
Goals: Roth, Glaser (7.0)
Assists: Roth, Cooper (7.6)
Notables: Gyan (7.0), Arroyo (7.0), Galvis (7.2)
-- Another $7,750 for the win today.
Just two matches to play, so while we haven't mathematically advanced yet, even if we lose our last two it still seems pretty likely.
-- Starting keeper Amidu Gyan strained his groin today in training, he's going to miss 4-5 weeks. Phil Harrington is back into the starting role.
-- ST Samir Pace resumes full training after his injury a couple weeks ago.
-- two weeks between matches here, I hadn't noticed that at first.
April 19th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Richmond Tide (1-2-2, 6th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (3-1-1, 1st)
We can clinch advancement out of our group with a win today.
Lassiter gets his first start today, I'm not sure he can go 90 quite yet, but he's getting close. Harrington for the injured Gyan, Davidson at AML instead of Rose due to recent form. Otherwise, we're starting what I think is our best team today.
Defensive mindset on the road.
11': They attack hard, geting the ball into the box twice, a nice tackle from Galvis saves us once, a header on a cross stops the second effort, and we withstand a rather long highlight in our defensive end without allowing a shot.
28': This game has been full of Richmond attacking highlights.
42': They earn a corner after a long free kick sent into the box, but we clear it out easily.
HALF: Each team has 3 off target shots. I've seen none of my own in highlights, I've seen all of theirs, and I've seen about 5 other highlights where they have put a ton of pressure on us but our defense has cleared at key moments. They hold a reasonably heavy possession edge over us and I tell the team to hold onto the ball a little more here.
46': They earn a corner right off the bat, its taken, a header.. Arroyo clears it off the line, whew.
81': Rose in for Davidson, Pena in for Williams.
92': I get to watch my first offensive highlight of the entire match, we take a corner and they clear it immediately. We keep the ball and clumsily build back up again, Rose sends a cross in from the left side and it goes through the box untouched.
The whistle finally blows around the 94 minute mark (after 2 minutes of scheduled added time).
Richmond 0 : 0 Wake Forest
They have a defender earn man of the match.
All of our ratings are between 6.2-6.8, most of them 6.6/6.7.
Ian Cooper picked up a minor injury in the final couple minutes. Damn.
Cooper is going to miss 3 weeks with this injury. That will see him missing a couple league matches.
Three teams clinched spots in the next round today, Wake Forest are one of them. I believe after this we go straight to single elimination draw style matches. We do have one more group match to play.
April 26th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Phase 1 - Group O
Wake Forest Cougars (3-2-1, 2nd) vs Belleville Squires (2-1-3, 5th)
Belleville could qualify with a win against us and some help. We'll try to keep them down because why not.
Glaser in at MC, Rose/Crook at AM, roster unchanged otherwise.
Standard mindset today.
10': Belleville goal kick, we recover it, move forward pretty quickly, Mora ahead to Navarro, he's got his man beat, he tries to chip it over the keeper from 18 yards out, but not high enough, keeper catches it.
41': AMR Ryan Crook is hurt and has to come out immediately. Crap, that's my top two AMR's gone. Samir Pace, mainly a striker, can also play an acceptable winger. He's in.
43': We earn a corner on a Rose cross into the area, first corner they head it behind, second the keeper grabs it.
HALF: We are dominating this match, 5 shots to 1, 59% of the possession, just no goals yet.
69': they intercept a pass in the midfield, a pass down the center, then sent out wide right, crossed into the area and ST King heads it in. A nice little play there for Belleville. 0-1
We'll attack to try to get the goal back.
70': It doesn't take long at all. Navarro has it near midfield, sends it ahead to Mora, the defense is closing in but he takes a shot from just outside the box and its by the keeper and in, very well placed! 1-1
75': The little used Bayerd Perkins is in at MC for Glaser.
And that's it.
Wake Forest 1 : 1 Belleville
Man of the Match: Jhonathan Mora (7.8)
Assists: Navarro (6.6)
Notables: Glaser 7.1
We were by far the better team today and we should have won that one. We needed to finish a bit better.
We luck out in that Crook doesn't have any sort of long term injury after this one.
Next up we'll find out who we play next in the North American Open Cup, and we begin league play on the road in Hickory, NC.
North American Open Cup First Qualifying Round Draw
We get a home match, but we're playing the Dallas Fort Worth Tornados, they're two or three full tiers above us. We will be pretty big underdogs.
The cup match also crowds our schedule up quite a bit, our league opener is May 3rd, and we will now play 5 matches between May 3rd and May 16th.
Glaser (rotation MC), Pena (backup DMC) and Perkins (backup MC) all trained well this month. ST Ronnie Navarro trained poorly and has shown a slight drop in many areas.
-- The board is pleased with my leadership. Signing Mora remains the top highlight. We also made $10,450 profit last month.
May 3rd, 2014
Hickory Heat vs Wake Forest Cougars
Hickory play on the field of Lenoir-Rhyne University, its a small 500 seater just like ours.
We make some changes because of the upcoming need to rotate players heavily in this stretch. Defensive mindset on the road today.
5': They get the first shot of the game off a free kick, but its wide.
17': Interception from Mora in midfield, a pass to Navarro, he lays it back to Williams who hits it ahead to Mora on a run, he shoots from 18 yards out, goal!!! 1-0
18': A pass from Davidson to Mora who is in the left side of the penalty area, he shoots... by the keeper, hits the crossbar, and out, so very close.
30': Disaster for us, trying to hang on to the ball deep in our own end, short passing intead of clearing. Their striker Pops just takes it away from Galvis and scores easily. 1-1
41': Free kick Hickory, they get a head on it, Harrington stops it, they get another look... blocked, and a foul on them trying to get to the loose ball. Whew.
45': Davidson with a free kick from 35 yards out, he lofts it into the box, Navarro is under it by himself, a volley, clear cut chance for sure... but he takes it at too sharp an angle and sends it wide.
HALF: We should be ahead, but that mistake by Galvis was just too big.
60': Mora picks up an injury. He can stay in, but I think I want him out ASAP.
64': Tapia in for Mora, Bo Thompson in for Crook at AMR.
74': A throwin in their territory, Davidson passes to Mora in the box, he's got a great look... but hits it just inches wide left.
86': They control it for awhile, finally getting a pass into the area for a striker, he shoots from a dangerous area, but its crowded and the shot is blocked and then cleared.
88': Sandoval in for Shakespeare.
92': Navarro tries a shot from 25 yards out, he makes the keeper dive for it which is often enough for a goal at this level, but the keeper gets to it and hangs on.
That's it, we'll take a road draw for our opener.
Hickory 1 : 1 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Jhonathan Mora (7.3)
Assist: Williams (7.2)
Navarro really had a bad day, 5.8 rating, one of the first really poor ratings I've seen.
Our first goal of the season:
GK Gyan is back to full training, we'll see if he can start right away or not. Harrington hasn't been bad, honestly.
MC Jhonathan Mora is going to miss 2 weeks with the injury he picked up today. That's going to be 3 league matches, which sucks since he's been one of our best players, probably our single best player.
So I looked a little closer at Hawaii now that I have the game open, and there is a "Hawaiian Islands Invitational" Tournament in the game. The Honolulu Islanders and Hilo Tsunami play each other. Hilo is in the bottom rung like my Wake Forest team is, they're in the "South Pacific Coast" league with teams from Nevada and California it appears). Honolulu is in "Gold Coast Division 2" which looks like its a number of rungs above the bottom. they're a semi-pro team. I'm assuming those are the only two Hawaii teams.
The rest of that tournament are bigger international teams, an MLS team, a couple Japan teams and a Korean team. So its basically like the Maui Invitational in college basketball where teams come from all over to beat the crap out of Chaminade :)
EDIT: of course you could just move teams around if you wanted more in the editor.
Hey... even Chaminade beat #1 Virginia once. :) That sounds great. Thank you for looking that up!
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