May 7th, 2014
North American Open Cup - First Qualifying Round
Wake Forest Cougars vs DFW Tornados
DFW are 2 tiers above us, so this might get ugly.
DFW: 4-5 (Favorites)
Wake Forest: 3-1
Pretty close to wholesale changes since we're on such short rest. Gyan is back in the lineup after his injury.
We will defend and try to make this a slow game.
2': They send a cross into the box, we clear it... but apparently Shakespeare held his man, and there's a penalty given. Its made easily. 0-1
12'; a cross in from the right for them, Gyan punches it away, but not very far. They have a man there, clear cut chance... but he fire it wide.
41': Cross in from Crook to Pace, he get behind the defense and has a great look, but its saved.
HALF: After the early goal things get really slow.
50': A lob over the defense by their midfielder Salazar. A striker controls it extremely nicely with his chest and has a very easy shot from the penalty spot, and we're down 2. 0-2
55': A through ball to pace, he's got a great look... but saved. Glaser takes the corner, Pickering is there at the near post, and he heads it in!! 1-2
57': We control it in the midfield, Glaser with a lob up ahead into the left side of the box, Rose gets there nicely, there's no one near him, he blasts a shot, into the net!!! Two very quick goals to tie it up! 2-2
66': Shakespeare is hurt and has to come out. I bring Bayerd Perkins in for him. Tapia comes in for a tired Glaser at the same time.
81': We earn a corner, Tapia takes it near post, Pickering is there again, he just misses on the header. Almost another goal the same way as the first!
84': Roth is in for Pace.
END OF REGULATION - I totally forgot to mention the structure. There are no replays in the competitions I've seen so far at this level. Extra time/penalties if tied after 90.
100': We control it in their end, a few short passes, then Tapia hits it ahead to Crook in the area, he turns and shoots left footed, and beats the keeper, goal!!! 3-2
101': A shot from about 20 yards out for DFW is just wide.
104': Free kick from the left side for us, its played into the box, and there's a penalty given! I have no idea where, it is crowded in there, but ok! Perkins takes the penalty, goal!! 4-2
EXTRA TIME HT - We just need to hang on to a two goal lead now!!
110': Waste all the time, boys.
That's it, great win!
Wake Forest 4 : 2e Dallas-Fort Worth
There are bigger upsets that can happen, but still this is a team a good ways above us, they really should win this most of the time.
Both of DFW's goals came from the same player, he got man of the match.
Goals: Pickering (8.4), Crook (8.2), Rose (7.7), Perkins (7.2)
Assists: Pickering, Glaser (6.9), Pace (6.6), Tapia (6.9)
Notables: Arroyo (7.0), Campbell (7.2), Pena (7.0)
We only allowed them 6 shots all match, despite them winning possession 55/45. We were better in the air, winning 71% of our headers to just 54% from them, maybe they kept trying to cross it in and we were able to clear out enough. We shot 11 times and our goals were not flukey at all, they were strong strikes from good positions.
-- We receive $15,500 for the win today! Money in the bank!
-- No long term injuries for Shakespeare, so that's really good for us.
North American Open Cup - Second Qualifying Round Draw
224 teams in the draw here, no top teams yet in the draw.
We get a good draw here, we're going to play the Montgomery Yellowhammers, at home. They're from Alabama. They're in the Atlantic Coast Amateur League, one tier above us. (we're in the US Amateuer Regional tier, they are in the US Amateur Premier Tier).
-- We are getting slightly better at our tactics:
May 10th, 2014
Danville Villains (0-0-1, 16th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (0-1-0, 11th)
Some teams have already played 2 or 3 matches, so the standings are meaningless.
We change up every single one of our infield players today.
1': We get a chance out of the opening kickoff, a ball ahead to Thompson coming in from the right side, its actually deemed a clear cut chance, but he puts it over.
17': They earn two corners, first turned behind, the second is headed off the post and cleared. Whew.
21': Our second shot, also from Thomspon, our second clear cut chance, and this one is saved. That wasn't an easy one though in my opinion. Navarro lobbed it out right for him and he tried a tough volley.
28': Navarro receives a pass about 25 yards out, lobs it into the left side of the box, controlled well by Colanegelo, he shoots, goal!! That was a very tough angle, nice shot! 1-0
33': Tapia ahead to Navarro, he ends up deep near the end line, has to hold up for some help, passes to Thompson, but his shot is saved. I actually think that was an easier look than both his clear cut chances from earlier.
HALF: A decent half, but I think we're a much better team than Danville, only allowing one off target shot so far and we feel in total control. I just hope we don't regret only getting one goal.
54': Thompson is tackled hard and his fitness goes into the tank, but he's not hurt, hopefully he can recover.
57': A cross from Colangelo is turned behind for a corner, he also takes the corner and its saved.
74': Crook in for Thompson, Sandoval in for Tapia.
82': A ball into the box from them from about 35 yards out... their strike gets a head to it and its not a strong header, but its enough, its by Gyan and in. 1-1
87': Their two forwards with a give and go, ST Soto just sprints by Garcia, gets into the box and gets an esay goal. 1-2
And that's it.
Danville 2 : 1 Wake Forest
A really ugly final 10 minutes from us. We should have been ahead by more than 1 goal, and we were completely unable to get anything going in the second half, we only took 1 second half shot. They only shot 4 times all match, but those last two were both golden.
I make sure the team knows they played like crap.
Goal: Colangelo (7.1)
Assist: Navarro (6.8)
ST Roth picks up a groin strain in a U18 match and is out 4-5 weeks. I didn't realize he was playing in that, I would not have allowed it. That sucks, that brings us down to two healthy strikers. I may need to sign another just in case.
MC Sandoval is also out 4-5 weeks with an injury. That is less important.
May 13th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (0-1-1, 12th) vs Nashville Soul (2-0-0, 3rd)
Its our league home opener today
Coggins is the only guy out there playing 2 in a row, the rest all changed.
Standard mindset at home today.
4': We earn an early corner, taken near post to Pickering, who isn't close on the header.
5': Pace with a bit of a break, his man is close by though and he can't get a great angle... still a clear cut chance, but saved.
16': Their ST Griffiths gets a good look from 18 yards out, he sends it wide though. If he was on target Gyan probably wasn't stopping it.
33': Lassiter with a horrid clearance from our corner sees them get a great looking shot.. it hits the post. We are extremely lucky.
42': Davidson with a free kick, it hits the bottom of the crossbar and stays in play, the keeper dove after it and is down, Crook gets to the ball first and pokes it in! 1-0
44': Glaser with a shot from 20 yards out after a nice pass from Davidson, its struck hard and low, but just wide.
HALF: Solid half, we allowed 2 great looks to them but they are putting absolutely everything wide. We have a couple more shots and way more on target, I'm not pulling back to defend too much here, I want another goal.
54': throwin in their end, pace with a short pass to Davidson, to Shakespeare in the area, he shoots... saved by the keeper, the rebound goes to the left side of the 6 yard box, Pace is there and shoots from a tight angle, goal!! 2-0
56': with a 2 goal lead we'll go ahead and give the order to play more defensive.
58': The ball goes back and forth through our penalty area so many times I lose count, headers that aren't strong enough to clear the danger totally, shots blocked and recovered by Nashville... finally a shot is wide by them.
72': Colangelo in for Davidson, Cooper (recently off the injury list but not in shape to start yet) in for Crook. I pull them back into the midfield and break out our 4-1-4-1 formation for the first time.
88': Tapia in for Glaser
Wake Forest 2 : 0 Nashville
Very strong win for us today.
Man of the Match: Mark Shakespeare (7.7)
Goals: Crook (7.4), Pace (7.6)
Assists: Shakespeare, Davidson (6.9)
Notables: Arroyo (7.0), Coggins (7.2)
The current standings look like this, and that's the teams in the league since I don't think I've ever shown them before.
I assume this is an amateur thing to save money on travel costs... so there's 16 teams in the league. Instead of playing everyone twice for a total of 30 games, what happens is that everyone plays each other once, for 15 games. After those 15 games, the league "splits" into the top 7, and the bottom 9. The top 7 teams then play each other one more time (which gives them a total of 21 games played), while the bottom 9 all play each other one more time giving them a total of 23 games played. Those splits are used to determine who makes the playoffs and who gets relegated. Well, except no one gets relegated since we're at the very bottom.
So if we are in 7th place after 15 games, we break off into that top half, and if we lose every game from then on, we still finish 7th place, even though there will be teams in the standings with more points than us, they'll be from the "bottom half" and the best they can do is 8th.
More on that later, the main thing to get for now is that the top 7 is MASSIVELY important over the course of the 15 game split.
16 y/o ST Pierre Reynoso signs with us from the Fayetteville Liberty, our next opponent.
Crossing 2/Dribbling 1/Finishing 5/Heading 5/Pace 4
Anticipation 1/Composure 6/Flair 9/Off Ball 6/Work Rate 10
He's not good. But hell no one on our team is. His total inability to dribble the ball combined with a total lack of ability to anticipate what's about to happen could lead to hilarious results.
We signed Reynoso because of the injury to Roth, I'm not comfortable only having two healthy players on the roster at a single position. I should have signed a guy like this awhile ago when our 4th string striker signed elsewhere.
May 16th, 2014
Fayetteville Liberty (2-1-0, 3rd) vs Wake Forest Cougars (1-1-1, 7th)
Mora is back from injury and immediately back in the lineup. Rose/Cooper are our best wingers, so we're fielding a really strong lineup today given the rotating that's been going on.
Standard mindset even on the road, lets see if we're better being less defensive in all situations.
3': Navarro just took a shot that went out for a throw-in. That is, he was in the left side of the penalty area, not even at the baseline... he was outside the 6 yard box. It was a bit of a tough angle... and he basically shot the ball straight sideways, and it went all the way over the sideline for a throw-in. I'm in awe.
26': Rose has two men on him, he controls the ball nicely on the left side and crosses in to Tapia. Tapia with a run into the box, lays it off for Navarro who shoots and scores a very easy goal! 1-0
HALF: We have 6 shots, the only one on target was the goal. But Fayetteville haven't managed even a shot yet. We look pretty strong here.
52': Their first shot is a scary on target shot on a free kick, but Gyan pushes it away. They get another free kick from the side, we head it behind, corner. The corner is headed clear.
67': We win a header off a goal kick and attack quickly, Rose down the left sideline, crossed into Navarro about 10 yards out, he has time to hold the ball and place his shot, but the keeper blocks it and they clear. Damn!
70': We possess the ball in the midfield, Cooper with a long lob forward, Navarro controls it very well with his first touch, dribbles into the penalty area and scores, good goal! 2-0
71': Glaser in for Mora, Mora is back but not quite ready to go 90.
77': They get a goal back on a corner, headed in. 2-1
79': Cooper has picked up an injury, hopefully not a bad one.
84': They get a great look on a long ball but Gyan makes the stop. Corner, Williams heads it away.
85': Colangelo and Crook in for Rose and Cooper. Lets be smart and defend for a few minutes here.
90': Colangelo with a cross, Navarro heads it... into the side netting, that was a decent look and almost a hat trick.
92': Ahh, full out amateur play. midfielder Johnson for Fayeteville is at the sideline maybe 25-30 yards out and sends a cross into the box. Except its a crappy cross, right at Gyan. If Gyan doesn't move, literally, the ball bounces off him and we have a shot to clear. Instead, he dives to the ground... and the ball bounces over him and into the net. 2-2
And that's how it ends.
Fayeteville 2 : 2 Wake Forest
Well, we just totally gave away 2 points there.
Man of the Match: Ronnie Navarro (8.8)
Goals: Navarro 2
Assists: Tapia (6.9), Cooper (7.4)
Notable: Williams (7.1)
We out-shot them 10-4, controlled possession, were the better passing, tackling and heading team. We were better in every way, until Gyan literally dove out of the way of the ball so it wouldn't touch him on the way into the net.
AMR Ian Cooper has a very hard time staying on the field. He's going to miss another week. Luckily Ryan Crook has looked pretty decent in his place.
May 21sh, 2014
North American Open Cup - Second Qualifying Round
Wake Forest Cougars vs Montgomery Yellowhammers
-- our first sellout!
-- Montgomery are large 1-2 favorites today, we're 9-2 to win.
We change all but Galvis/Arroyo/Navarro in this one.
Defensive mindset against the presumably stronger team.
2': They earn a corner, we head it away but not very far, they control still in the penalty area, one pass to an open man, easy goal. 0-1
5': A long run of possession for Wake Forest, mostly up the middle on offense, Navarro gets a pass 25 yards out, holds it nicely, Colangelo cuts, NAvarro hits him with the pass, great shot, goal!! 1-1
7': Highlight opens with NAvarro making a run into the right sid eof hte area, he holds it up to wait for help, passes to Shakespeare, he puts it in! 2-1
-- that's 5 shots, 3 goals between the two teams.
We saw one highlight the rest of the half, of Navarro putting a shot well wide.
HALF: Navarro with two assists, very nice!
60': They intercept a pass in midfield and get the ball ahead quickly, a shot from the left side of the penalty area is saved by Gyan.
70': We're seeing them attack more here, Arroyo with a nice header to stop a cross coming in, they recover and shoot and Gyan has to make a save, turning it behind for a corner. Pena sends the corner away.
73': We drop back to a 4-1-4-1 formation, Shakespeare moves over to ML, Perkins comes in for Colangelo and will play in the center of the midfield.
79': Tapia in for Pena at DMC.
85': A long goal kick from their keeper, we miss it and it takes a high bounce behind the defense, their striker has a 1 on 1 against Gyan.. Gyan rushes out, and stops the shot!!
That's it! We seem to play pretty well as underdogs, at home at least!
Wake Forest 2 : 1 Montgomery
Man of the Match: Ronnie Navarro (8.3)
Goals: Colangelo (7.3), Shakespeare (7.9)
Assists: Navarro 2
Notables: Glaser (7.0)
Coggins with a pretty rough 6.3 rating at DL today.
-- We receive $31,000 for the win. That's a huge amount for this team. We actually have $100,000 in the bank now. The team has brought in $127,000 this year so far, and $70,000 of that is from prize money.
-- I take advantage of the good mood and ask the board if I can hire another physio and another coach, they agree immediately on the physio, they don't agree on the coach, but I plead with them and state that our players can't reach their potential without it, and they relent. I'm not sure why they care, the coaches are working for free anyway.
I make a couple coaching offers.
North American Open Cup - Third Qualifying Round Draw
So it looks like the bigger teams have yet to enter the competition still, down to 136 qualifying teams in the pool.
We draw the Ogden Outlaws from the Gold Coast 2nd Division, also a couple tiers above us. We do get the draw at home, so hey, lets pull off another upset guys!
Continuing to win in the cup matches does mean that we're never going to get any rest, but I'm not sure it really matters, since for the guys under age 18 you have to rotate a lot to keep them from getting jaded anyway, I think?
New Staff Member
We sign a new physio with a rating of 6, Josh Watts. Hopefully having two crappy physios helps a little more with the injury problems than just having one.
We also sign 34 year old Zizi Roberts as a coach. Roberts can actually coach a bit, 7 attacking/7 defending/8 man management/15 adaptability/16 determination. I put him on tactics and defending, which lets my assistant and other coach lighten their load a bit so our training improves in about 5 areas. Now we're talking about improving from 1* to 1 1/2* or 1 1/2* to 2*... so its not exactly great, but we're not paying for any of this so we might as well maximize what little we can do.
May 24th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (1-2-1, 11th) vs Cleveland Stokers (0-2-2, 15th)
-- So as fun as it is to make $31k for a win, we need to start winning some of these league matches instead of letting bad things happen in the final minutes.
Crook is the only guy trying to go two matches in a row here, and only because Cooper isn't really fit after yet another injury.
Standard mindset at home against a weaker team today.
2': We attack after a free kick in midfield, Crook crosses, its headed but not fully cleared. They get the ball but either Rose steals it away or they just have poor control and lose it while trying to clear. Either way, Rose is there in the box, gets the ball back and scores! 1-0
14': A lob by Cleveland gets a man open behind the defense (pickering way out of position), Lassiter races back though and is able to block the shot as its taken. A very key play on defense.
29': We get a great look on a cross in by Crook, Pace heads it.. into the crossbar, so close!
HALF: Each team has 5 shots, we have the only one on target, and the only goal as a result.
51': Pace with a good pass to Rose coming in from the left side... he gets our first clear cut chance, but the keeper makes the save. We get another shot off the corner, turned behind... and another shot off the next corner, but this one goes wide for a goal kick.
54': A lucky break as they get a cross and header, but its high, it was from very close range, though it was contested.
57': Their ST Sinisterra scores on a nice volley after a cross came in from the left side. 1-1
63': New ST Reynoso comes on for AMR Crook. Pace moves to AMR, Reynoso up front. Tapia in for Perkins at MC.
85': Williams is hurt and has to leave the match. Tapia moves to DMC, Shakespeare is in at MC.
85': I want to attack here.
87': Pickering with a nice open field tackle to win the ball in defense, it starts a counter attack, Rose with a long cross to Pace, Pace in the area.. he's brought down, penalty! Mora takes the penalty... and its saved. UGH.
And that's it.
Wake Forest 1 : 1 Cleveland
We're giving away points left and right in league play. I give the "aggressive" post match talk telling the team this simply isn't good enough, and many of my players are fired up as a result.
Man of the Match: Dylan Rose (7.3)
Assist: Pace (6.7)
We managed 16 shots to their 8, 6 on target to their 1, 3 clear cut chances, we wre just better in every way, we have just got to close this game out. Hell, we missed a penalty in the 87th minute!
DMC Brian Williams has broken his wrist. He is going to miss two months. Going into the season when I was scouting out my team I said that I thought Williams was possibly my best player, and is absolutely at the position where the difference between my starter and backup is the greatest. This is a loss that I am very sad to see.
MC Jose Alejandro Tapia can fill in as a rotational DMC along with Tim Pena, which shoudl be mostly fine.
1/3 of the way through the season. We're fine, but we do need to get some wins soon. Remember the big goal is top 7.
Interesting, because the Atlantic Coast Premier is also a split season league but with a different split. 20 teams, play 19 games games and then split 10 & 10.
9 more games played against your "half", total of 28 regular season matches.
Same idea, executed differently.
This looks like it's a lot of fun...a different kind of football in the American South. :)
I might have to see if my laptop can run FM 14 well enough to make buying it worthwhile, because I think this would be an enjoyable challenge.
I'll be following!
May 28th, 2014
North American Open Cup - Third Qualifying Round
Wake Forest Cougars vs Ogden Outlaws
-- Ogden are 2-5 favorites, we're 13:2 to get this one. The odds keep getting longer and longer.
I am very lucky that Ryan Crook is one of the stronger guys on the team in terms of fitness. Cooper should be ready to go next match. I also think Mora has been strong enough that I want to keep him in today instead of rotating for a slightly more fit player.
We're obviously defending today.
15': Coggins misjudges a cross that allows Ogden to get a really good look from about 10 yards out and they score first. 0-1
28': they cross, we head it out, but they recover the ball and we get very lucky as a shot hits the crossbar and goes just over.
30': Mora finds Davidson coming in from the left, he shoots but its way off. We've had a few offensive highlights and a few nice plays, just nothing put together yet.
32': There it is! Davidson with a run down the left, a cross to the penalty spot, Mora is there and sticks it in with a great left footed volley! 1-1
41': They build up and get a shot off from the right side of the area, but its right at Gyan. Even then, its scary, anything on target is terrifying at this level. He makes the save.
HALF: I tell the team that I honestly think they can win this one. They are outshooting us 6-3, but we are hanging on to possession nicely, with 59% of the play so far, we are doing great in the air and we are winning our tackles. We really have a shot I think.
53': We control the ball for a good long while before Mora finally works it forward, he hits Crook on the right, he shoots, but its not a great angle and he puts it into the side netting.
54': we intercept a pass in their end, Navarro goes by a man and gets a little space on the left side of the area, he shoots.. its just off the bar. That was a tough shot with his weaker foot, but a good effort.
69': Perkins in for Glaser, Pace in for Crook at AMR.
90': Throwin in their end, Mora takes a shot from just outside the penalty area, but he misses badly.
94': Mora is hurt, and forced to leave the match. Ugghhh, I don't want him hurt!
FULL TIME: Tapia is going to come in for Mora, and I've used all my subs, so this is my team for extra time.
101': A nice run from MR Myers on their side, there's a pass ahead to him, Coggins makes a great slide to get in front of him as he shoots, and blocks it.
103': Coggins yellow.
Extra Time HalfTime: We might have to hope for penalties here.
114': They shoot on a free kick, miles wide.
Full Time: And that's it, we go to penalties.
Perkins: right side, good. 1-0
Hardy: right side, good. 1-1
Coggins: bottom left corner, good. 2-1
Ammann: almost right down the middle, good. 2-2
Navarro: right side, good. 3-2
Maldonado: right side, good. 3-3
Garcia: left center, good. 4-3
Quintero: right down the middle, it hits Gyan, but goes in. 4-4
Davidson: left side, good. 5-4
Roberts: left side, good. 5-5
Tapia: top left corner, good. 6-5
Carlton: left side, good. 6-6
Arroyo: top right corner, good. 7-6
Lenweke: right side, good. 7-7
Galvis: bottom right, good. 8-7
Prado: left side... Gyan dives left, but the ball goes inches over him. 8-8
Pena: left center, good. 9-8
Myers: right side, good. 9-9
Pace: left side, good. 10-9
Angeles: lower left, good. 10-10
Gyan: slightly left of center... their keeper saves.
Rodriguez: right side, good. 10-11
Penalty kciks at this level are hilarious, the keepers are so bad they can barely move, so as long as you don't just miss the target, you're extremely likely to score. We make it all the way to keeper vs keeper, and Gyan couldn't finish.
Wake Forest 1 : 1 (10-11 on penalties) Ogden
Man of the Match: Jhonatan Mora (8.0)
Assist: Davidson (6.9)
Notables: Garcia (7.0), Galvis (7.1)
Most importantly probably, there is no long term injury for Mora.
Also, we now have a few weeks where we just have 1 match a week, before the start of the next cup competition, the far less lucrative "North American Amateur Cup".
Yeah, the 7 and 9 split is really weird. The first time I played through this in what essentially ended up a test season, I had no idea what the split was, assumed 8 and 8. I finished 7th and was very surprised to find I was the last team in!
How are you getting tactics familiarity up as an Amateur team? I keep getting stuck at the same levels no matter how many games I use the exact same tactics.
FYI tactics familiarity is based on how much time you spend training the tactic(match training on tactics) not how much you use it in the matches themselves.
But there is no match training for Amateur teams.
Ah well ... haven't played with an amateur team in a few versions. Not too sure about that one :P
I mean I could be wrong. Who knows?
There's my team training scheduling. Looks like we're allowed to practice 2 days a week. I'll leave general training and match training on tactics for the entire season probably. By next year we'll probably know our tactics well enough that I can afford to do other things sometimes.
I have no idea about optimizing any of it, I'm just winging it for the most part.
You can speed it up, if you like, by moving the 'Scheduling' slider at the top(right now the progress will be pretty slow because you're not spending much time on match training. I usually have it at the other end until we know tactics well).
That slider is greyed out, can't move it. I don't see anything official on it but some googling makes it look like semi-pro and amateur teams don't' have control over that.
-- I haven't done a good job of reporting cards in matches, there aren't a whole lot usually though. It looks like suspensions start after only two yellows, even for league play? DL Danny Coggins picked up his 2nd yellow and will sit a match.
-- Two of my reserves have now come to talk to me about getting a shot at playing time. One of them was an MR only, Tim Reading, andI told him he was a backup and to deal with it. He continued complaining, so I released him. The other is DC Don Burke, I don't think he's as good as my other DC's, but its not like we're playing spectacularly well, and some of his ratings don't suck, so I tell him I'll give him a chance.
May 29th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (1-3-1, 9th) vs Asheville Attack (2-2-1, 6th)
Lots of changes again today, Cooper is finally back in the lineup at AMR (though Crook has done quite well so I'm not sure there's really a gap in talent there like I first thought), Tapia starts at DMC, Reynoso gets the start at striker.
Standard mindset at home today.
12': They put a free kick from 25 yards on target, but Gyan saves.
20': Some nice Asheville passing, the penalty area is crowded ut they do get a look , they can't put it on target though.
35': Asheville clear cut chance, a pass comes into the 6 yard box from the left, their man is a bit slow to shoot though and we get a defender there to tackle it out. Corner goes nowhere.
HALF: Shots are even at 4, we have 3 of them on target but haven't seen any of them in highlights.
I tell the team to retain possession, they are holding the ball way too much, and its not like our quicker play is getting us more shots.
56': They get a long ball down the right, a cross, Varela heads it out, but they recover, a centering cross, Marshall is there and heads it in. 0-1
60': Lets attack.
67': Pace is in for Reynoso.
73': Pace is hurt and has to leave the field. Luckily Navarro is also available today off the bench, I had them both as subs for AM coverage. I go ahead and bring Mora in for Perkins too, to try to spark the offense.
82': I think this is the first time I saw the team shoot in a highlight, Rose puts one wide from outside the penalty area.
88': Their defense is holding the ball, we put some pressure on and force a poor clearance, Shakespeare intercepts, passes ahead to Rose, he crosses to the other side of the penalty area, Cooper with the shot, goal! 1-1
That's it, its another draw, but somehow when you're trailing all match and come back to tie it doesn't feel quite as bad when its the other way around :D
Wake Forest 1 : 1 Asheville
Man of the Match: Dylan Rose (7.5)
Goal: Cooper (7.2)
Notables: Pickering (7.1), Shakespeare (7.1)
Of course. Samir Pace is out for 2 months with a badly sprained ankle. ST Leon Roth is expected to have recovered from his injury in about 4 days, so we'll hopefully have three guys available again soon to play up front.
-- So I gave reserve DC Don Burke a start last match after he complained about his playing time. He put up a 6.5 rating, it was the worst on the team, it wasn't completely horrible though.
-- Also a note about DC Joe Pickering. When I started this I assumed he'd be my #4 DC or so, but I totally ignored the fact that the guy is 6'8", which may or may not be the reason that he seems to consistently give me much higher ratings than any other DC on the squad so far. I think he's done enough to earn first team status at this point.
-- DMC Timothy Pena, MC Bayard Perkins and MC Jhonatan Mora are all noted for training well this month. Since we're training tactics (I assume that's why at least), we're seeing lots of spots where mental attributes start to inch up, notably composure, anticipation, and decision making. I'm not quite sure I should value those things over say, passing, for my midfielders.
-- The board is very pleased with my leadership. Signing Mora is still the highlight. The signing of DL Danny Coggins is a "slight disappointment". I dunno, he's not been great, but he has a 6.60 average rating over 12 total matches. I guess his backup has a higher rating in a smaller sample size. Maybe I'll rotate them more evenly and see if Campbell is more deserving of the starting spot. We made $55,330 last month. It might be years before we make that much in a month again.
DC Garry Garcia was hurt in training, he'll miss 2-3 weeks. Not a huge deal as long as the rest of the defense stays pretty healthy.
North America Amateur Cup - Qualifying Round Draw
160 teams in the pot here. We actually draw a division rival, the Huntington Hammers. We'll get them at home, in about 10 days. Oddly enough that's the team we're playing in our next match.
-- ST Leon Roth resumes full training. He won't be playing just yet, but its good to have 3 healthy strikers again.
-- MC Ashely Sandoval also resumes full training.
June 6th, 2014
Huntington Hammers (5-0-1, 1st) vs Wake Forest Cougars (1-4-1, 10th)
Odds: Huntington are 4-6 favorites, we're 9-2 here. That's pretty big, as for the first month or so the home team are 5-4 favorites in every match. With 15 points in 6 matches Huntington have earned it though.
Huntington Striker Gus Chapman has 6 goals in league play already, so he's a big concern of ours. We're going to try to close down on him and force him onto his left foot, since he's only competant with his right.
We'll defend and try to hold possession as much as we can today.
3': Free kick for us about 25 yards out, Pickering takes it and shoots, on target but saved.
9': Coggins throwin deep in their territory, to Rose, back to Coggins, to Mora in the area, he slides it over to NAvarro who has an angle and scores!! 1-0
18': Pena intercepts a pass in the defensive end and starts a counter, up to Mora, ahead to NAvarro, he puts it out wide for Rose, Rose crosses to Crook who fires a hard shot, but the keeper stops it.
26': We've seen some Huntington highlights but any shots they've managed have been off target.
HALF: We race to the half after that, I'll take it! We have 5 shots to their 4, but weve put 3 on target, none for them yet. We are slightly ahead in possession, just need to hang in there for another half, but that's been very tough for us thus far.
46': They get a solid looking shot from 20 yards out to start the second half, but Gyan makes a nice save.
48': Pickering a yellow.
76': Navarro is hurt, can stay in.
78': Colangelo in for Rose, Shakespeare in for Glaser.
83': Tapia in for Mora, we pull our attacking mids back and settle into a 4-1-4-1 for the final minutes.
We hang on to this one!
Huntington 0 : 1 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Ronnie Navarro (7.2)
Assist: Mora (7.0)
So we finally manage a win in league play and its on the road against the #1 team. We got some luck here, they outshot us 9-5 and definitely beat our defenders a number of times but only put 1 shot on target all match. We didn't give them any easy looks, but they had a number of plays where a good shot would have tied it for them.
June 13th, 2014
Kentucky Colonels (2-3-2, 9th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (2-4-1, 8th)
Odds: We are 4-6 favorites on the road today, I'm extremely surprised to see that.
Cooper back in the lineup at AMR, lets see how long he goes without getting hurt. Campbell and Lassiter get starts in the defense.
Defensive mindset on the road.
2': A cross in from the left for Kentucky, headed by ST Wolin, it hits the bottom of the crossbar and bounces in. 0-1
8': Some buildup on offense for us, Mora to the right for Cooper, its a clear cut chance, but blocked and out for a corner. We earn a 2nd corner, and that one is poorly taken into the side netting.
10': Awful goal kick for Kentucky, Rose passes it forward to Navarro, he runs into the area and has our second clear cut look... its high.
19': Navarro ahead to Mora, our 3rd clear cut chance of the match... blocked by a defender.
38': Kentucky defender Polack picks up a yellow.
HALF: Each team has 4 shots, the difference is that 3 of ours really were great, great looks and we should have at least 1 goal right now. I tell the team they need to be better, and open things up a little for a less defensive second half.
57': After a lot of possession for KEntucky, they get a lob ahead behind our defense, a striker has a clear cut chance for them, but he can't get it by Gyan who was rushing out.
73': Shakespeare in for Glaser, Colangelo in for Rose, lets attack boys.
88': A long ball ahead, their ST Wolin runs onto it, Pickering is there as well, Wolin struggles to control the ball but he is able to in the end, and he gets a shot by Gyan and in. 0-2
Kentucky 2 : 0 Wake Forest
I make sure the team knows that they did not play well enough today. We had all those great chances early on, and once we couldn't convert any of them and Kentucky got into the lead, they really locked things down.
June 17th, 2014
North American Amateur Cup - Qualfying Round
Wake Forest Cougars vs Huntington Hammers
Wholesale subs today, a weaker lineup but we don't really care about this tournament all that much, especially when we need to string together some league wins to get into the top half so badly right now.
5': Lots of things here to make me happy. A long ball from Huntington, but Burke heads it away. Very frequently the defender just misjudges and gives a breakaway to the opponent. Davdison has a pass intercepted, but he puts on a burst of speed to go recover the ball, then a nice cross from Davidson to Roth who pokes it in! 1-0
10': Shakespeare to Crook, back to Shakespeare, now forward to crook making a run, Crook lobs it into the penalty area, Roth controls it, shoots and scores! 2-0
25': Shakespeare with a corner, Burke has it near post on his foot, but doesn't control it well and a defender gets there and blocks his shot.
33': We earn one corner, a couple shots are blocked leading to a second corner, that one is cleared.
35': After a nice buildup by us, Crook passes to Roth who shoots from just outside the penalty area, its just inches wide.
44': First Huntington highlight, they work it forward and get a clear cut chance from about 8 yards out, but Gyan makes a solid save.
HALF: We find 9 shots this half, 4 on target. We only allow the one late look, and it was a really scary one, but we are just playing great so far. I tell the team that and tell them to keep it going.
48': The hat trick! Some nice passing to get the offense forward, Davidson out wide, crosses to the 6 yard mark, Roth heads it in! 3-0
We see a few more highlights after this but nothing really noteworthy. Huntington just completely shut down after this.
Wake Forest 3 : 0 Huntington
Man of the Match: Leon Roth (9.6)
Goals: Roth 3
Assists: Davidson 2 (8.8), Crook (7.2)
Notables: Gyan (7.6), Varela (7.6), Burke (7.4), Coggins (7.8), Tapia (7.8), Shakespeare (7.2), Perkins (7.2)
Maybe the most notable thing here is that only one player couldn't manage a 7.0 rating today, and that's team captain Hernando Galvis. It just seems like he's less involved back there... he did have a couple tackles, but Burke was involved more in the air and made double the interceptions in the back.
Roth was, obviously, amazing. Due to injury combined with my initial impressions of his skills, he's only played in 3 matches for me, and one was as a very late sub. His other start netted him a goal and an assist, so this guy needs to be given more chances to show what he can do.
To highlight the difference in stature between this tournament and the North American Open, we receive $310 for this victory... compared to $7700 in the initial rounds of the other cup.
North American Amateur Cup First Round Draw
So the qualifying round got us down to 128 teams, so this looks like a standard tournament with 7 rounds to decide a winner. We get another home match, we are getting really lucky with these draws. We're going to get the winners of the California Gold and Dothan Dodgers. California are in the tier above us, Dothan are in the same tier as us.
June 20th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (2-4-2, 11th) vs Model City Kings (3-2-3, 8th)
-- The stnadings remain super crowded and tons of things can change every match. Just a couple wins would vault us way up.
As much as I'd love to run out the same roster that just played so well, we're going on 3 days rest and just can't.
Standard mindset at home today. Retain possession instruction stays on.
13': Pena wins a header to start an attack for us, Rose with a pass down near the baseline for Mora, Mora runs onto it, drives a cross hard through the 6 yard box, Cooper is at the far post and heads it in! The keeper had zero chance. 1-0
24': Rose with a lob from 35 yards out into the penalty area, Navarro with nice control to bring it down, turns, shoots far post, and scores! The keeper again had no chance at ever stopping that. 2-0
26': Model City with a long shot off the left post.
34': Cooper with a corner, Pickering is there, he's brought down... but its deemed a fair tackle.
38': Cooper with a corner, Pickering is there again, heads it, goal! The keeper got a hand to it but couldn't stop it. 3-0
46': Seconds before halftime, Arroyo intercepts a pass, up ahead quickly to cooper, to Mora, he and Navarro have a 2v2, Mora ahead to Navarro, he shoots and scores! 4-0
HALF: Look at all these goals, damn. We shot 4 times, 4 goals. Model City has 1 shot.
60': Campbell yellow card.
71': Mora and Navarro out, Shakespeare and Reynoso in.
We coast to the win here.
Wake Forest 4 : 0 Model City
Man of the Match: Ronnie Navarro (8.8)
Goals: Navarro 2, Cooper (8.5), Pickering (8.5)
Assists: Mora 2 (8.5), Cooper, Rose (8.0)
Notables: Gyan (7.2), Arroyo (8.0), Lassiter (8.1), Campbell (7.9), Pena (7.5)
We jump up to 7th with that win, but things are still so close.
June 27th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (3-4-2, 7th) vs Jackson Red Shirt (2-3-4, 13th)
I rotate out most of our super young guys here, everyone is pretty hot right now so lets see how this works. Standard mindset with retain possession on.
1': We get a free kick after pushing forward on the opening kickoff. Galvis takes it and sends a shot just high.
3': Roth about 30 yards out sends a great ball into the area for Mora, Mora has a clear cut chance and sends it wide, I have no earthly idea how he missed that.
11': Corner for us, they head it out but Campbell is there and blasts a shot... off the crossbar.
24': Lassiter with a yellow.
32': After a throwin, Mora hits Davidson cutting in from the left, the keeper tries to come out, but Davidson puts a good shot by him and into the right side of the net. Very clean play. 1-0
37': Slightly less clean, a cross from Varela in to Davidson, he has another good look here, but seems to fumble with the ball for a moment and strikes it into the back of Roth... that could have been better.
HALF: We outshoot them 7-3, but only 1 shot on target, luckily for us it went in. We dominate possession and pretty much everything else. Lets get another goal to make it feel a bit easier though.
58': Reynoso in for Roth, Roth took a pretty bad knock and his fitness dropped to 17%. He doesn't show as hurt though, just really shaken up I guess.
65': They get a breakaway after a nice lob pass, but their attacker tries a soft lob over Gyan, and its not high enough, Gyan is able to reach it.
67': Another through ball for Jackson, another good look but Gyan is there to push the shot away.
70': Oh how did we not score! A corner taken far post, its headed and saved, rebound falls to pena, he shoots, but the keeper recovers just in time to make a diving stop.
83': Campbell with a good clearance of a dangerous cross/redirected header that sent the ball through the 6 yard box.
86': Shakespeare in for Glaser, Colangelo in for Davidson.
We control much of the possession in the final minutes and get another win!
Wake Forest 1 : 0 Jackson
A Jackson defender is man of the match.
Goal: Davidson (7.3)
Assist: Mora (7.1)
Notables: Campbell (7.0)
-- We move up into 4th with the win today. Its still super crowded though, just 4 points between 4th and 12th. We're also only 3 points out of first, so there's that.
AML Dylan Rose is going to miss 5-6 weeks with a back strain he picked up lifting weights. We are ok with Davidson/Colangelo, but Rose has been playing quite well so it sucks to lose him.
-- ST Navarro, DMC Pena and GK Gyan are noted for training well. Backup GK Harrington was a negative here.
-- The board remains very pleased with my leadership. Signing Mora is the best thing i've done, clearly. No negatives this month. We made $615 profit, hah.
-- Tactics continue to improve:
July 4th, 2014
Blacksburg Bears (1-4-5, 15th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (4-4-2, 2nd)
Blacksburg signed 3 players from us early in the year, DC's Jamie Marrow, Steve Groves and Midfielder Gary Martin. We definitely want to beat these guys more than we would a normal team.
I tell the team I expect a win today.
3': Great passing, Coggins wins it deep in our end, we try to quick counter but dont' find anything, and pull the ball out to set up the offense, we have a very patient buildup, lots of guys could have forced long shots but didn't, in the end Navarro was able to find Mora on a little run and Mora got a great look 10 yards out to score. 1-0
4': Mora to Davidson, he takes the ball out wide, passes back to Mora and the defense is just not there, Mora from the same spot as his first goal, its in again! 2-0
7': Marrow with a yellow for blacksburg.
11': Navarro to Mora, through ball to Shakespeare, he's in the area alone, goal! 3-0
32': We give one back, again the DC's misplaying a lob, their ST Cruz has an easy one. 3-1
HALF: We outshoot them 6-2, dominate 61% of possession and should be in full control. We do need to make sure we don't give one back though and let Blacksburg make this a contest. We'll defend.
55': Navarro with a 20 yard run up the middle himself, a shot from outside the area, just over.
70': Coggins has picked up a minor injury, I put Burke in for him.
72': Sandoval in for Shakespeare, Colangelo in for Davidson.
72': We intercept a pass in defense and send it long, Navarro with a near total breakaway, just one defender who can keep up, sadly that defender does catch all the way up and tackles the ball away from Navarro as he tries to shoot, corner, which we can't get anything from.
84': Blacksburg earn a corner after a cross, Gyan catches the corner though.
Blacksburg 1 : 3 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Jhonatan Mora (9.4)
Goals: Mora 2, Shakespeare (7.7)
Assists: Davidson (7.4), Navarro (7.4), Mora
Notables: Gyan (7.1), Pena (7.1)
We're up to 3rd, tied for 2nd in points. Still.. just three points ahead of 8th. Five matches to go, need to be top 7.
I'm seeing a lot of teams having injury issues with strikers the same way we are, but they don't have the depth, so they end up starting defenders at forward. The number of ST's that show up when i search are very small, and they're all already on other teams in my tier. I was just aggressive about making sure i had enough in the preseason. It'd be nice if there was a pool of free agents below this.
The World Cup is going on. Brazil failed to make it out of groups.
Poland 2 : 1 Argentina
Uruguay 2 : 0 Ivory Coast
Spain 4 : 1 Mexico
France 2 : 0 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Poland/Uruguay, Spain/France semis.
July 8th, 2014
North America Amateur Cup
Wake Forest Cougars vs California Gold
Californis is one tier higher than us.
Even on short rest we keep some of our starters from last game around, a little less than half the team is rotated out.
We'll come out defensively against the higher tier team.
11': Navarro hits Crook cutting in from the right for a clear cut chance, shot is stopped though. Corner goes nowhere.
21': Galvis takes a corner for us, it either hit the post or it was headed by a defender on the line, but weakly, the ball falls to Tapia in the area and he shoots before anyone can react, goal! 1-0
26': A long run of possession on offense for California, they end up getting a ball into the box, a header from a striker that basically just redirected it, but wide.
30': we have it about 30 yards out, Navarro lobs a ball into the left side of the area, Davidson is there and takes a nice low shot by the keeper and into the right side of the net! 2-0
HALF: We outshoot them 5-3, 3 on target , all other things pretty even. I tell the team they're playing great and to keep it up.
55': Shakespeare with a shot from 20 yards out, their keeper gets a hand to it but dives for it, it bounces and hits the crossbar and lands in play. Their defender tries to clear but can't and accidentally pushes it into his own net. Own goal! 3-0
64': Way, way too easy. Shakespeare corner into the 6 yard box, it lands at Pickering's feet, he is essentially unmarked and the keeper hasn't moved over to that side. Hilarious amateur play. Easy goal. 4-0
73': Navarro, Glaser, Shakespeare out, Reynoso, Sandoval, Perkins in.
82': We build up a bit on offense, a ball to Reynoso at the top of the key, he passes over to Crook who shoots and scores! 5-0
Wake Forest 5 : 0 California
Man of the Match: Joe Pickering (8.9)
Goals: Pickering, Tapia (8.9), Crook (8.7), Davidson (8.6)
Assists: Shakespeare 2 (8.6), Galvis (8.4), Navarro (7.9), Reynoso (6.8)
Notables: Gyan (7.3), Arroyo (8.3), Campbell (8.5)
-- We get $485 for the win. That's less than $100 per goal. :D
North America Amateur Cup - Second Round Draw
68 teams remain (did some get added, I thought we had a power of two number before, maybe I did math wrong). We don't get a home game, but we do get a game against a division opponent. We'll be playing the Twin City Patrol next round. They currently are in 2nd place in the league. We haven't played them yet I don't think.
July 11th, 2014
Roanoke Magic (4-4-3, 8th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (5-4-2, 3rd)
Lassiter is the only change for the defense, the midfield/offense completely rotates though. Defensive mindset on the road today.
11': Mora to Roth in the area, Roth goes down, but its a legal tackle. We earn a corner but they clear it.
27': We pass the ball around forever, finally Roth with a ball into the left side for Colangelo, he has a great look, clear cut chance, but off the right post. Davidson would have scored.
32': Colangelo is hurt and forced to leave the match immediately. Reynoso can play AML and he's coming in.
HALF: Pretty terrible half of soccer all around. We shoot 3 times, all off target, they haven't managed a shot yet.
49': They have a corner, taken into the 6 yard box, Gyan goes for it and really should have had it, but doesn't get to it, they head it in. 0-1
65': Lets try to attack.
71': Mora gets a knock and his fitness goes to crap. I bring Glaser in for him.
We don't see a single highlight for the final 40 minutes.
Roanoke 1 : 0 Wake Forest
Only 7 shots total for the entire match between both teams, we just got 1 in the second half.
Colangelo is going to miss 5-6 weeks. Rose is still out for at least 3 weeks as well.
Reynoso can play AML, and Samir Pace is coming back from injury in a matter of days to give us ST coverage. Shakespeare plays ML, so we could also use him and go 4-1-4-1. We'll manage, probably.
We fall to 6th in the loss, we're in a 4 way tie at 19 points between 5th-8th but have goal differential. Its still a giant clusterfuck and we could finish anywhere between 1st and like 12th reasonably.
Hope you don't mind the semi-regular stream of compare/constrast to my own experience with the same mod) .... interesting that you can't find ST which seem to be a dime a (fairly untalented) dozen in my universe but I can't find a DMC to save my life.
Guessing here but could that be from four matches in the first round that haven't been played yet? (60 have won + 8 still alive temporarily since they haven't played and are listed in the 2nd Round draw as an either/or pairing)
Not at all!
My sense at this point of the season is that I would have a hard time finding anyone at any position if I had a really unlucky string of injuries and lost all my players in one spot. When I look at the list of guys my scout recommends and filter out unrealistic targets, there are zero "free agents" who aren't already on another amateur team. And the later in the season it gets, the less willing guys seem to be to move from one crappy amateur team to another just because you throw a contract at them. So if I lost all my GK's, or DMC's, or ST's, over the next few matches to a bad luck run of injury, I'd expect to be 100% fucked.
I'm assuming the AI teams just didn't work as hard as I did in the preseason to make sure I had extra depth at key positions (I have 4 keepers and 4 strikers on my roster despite only ever playing 1 at a time). So a couple of them got unlucky with injuries and those are the ones at the dead bottom of the table.
I could easily be wrong, and there's just a bug with AI running amateur teams or something that I'm not seeing, this is just my sense of it after playing (and crushing) two teams in a row who were playing two defenders at forward.
I'm hoping to promote to tier 7 and hoping that this won't be a problem anymore, since tier 7 teams should hopefully be able to poach players out of tier 8 with relative ease.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ... I've lost at least 2-3 players from a 7th tier TO 8th tier sides. Not quite as many as I've taken from them but -- at least in my universe -- unless they're within a hundred miles or so if you then message about "not interested in discussions, not willing to relocate for what your club is offering" becomes very commonplace (despite the fact that I never even get around to making an offer because they won't discuss).
Poland beats France 1:0 in one semifinal, Spain over Uruguay in the other (oops, I think I had the matchups wrong). Poland beats Spain 2-1 to win the world cup.
-- The USA only got 1 point in the group stages, a draw against Portugal. This performance got Jurgen Klinsmann fired.
-- The Old North Cup concludes, this is the competition between all the teams in North Carolina. The expected final would be between the Carolina RailHawks and Charlotte Eagles, both in the top USL division. Instead, the Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL-PRO EAST Division upset Charlotte to make the finals. The RailHawks do win the final 2-0.
-- Looks like I'll be losing my assistant coach soon, about 10 teams have offered him a job coaching their reserve teams. All of these teams are in much higher tiers though, so I am assuming he's going to take one of them.
July 18th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (5-4-3, 6th) vs Owensboro Cookers (5-4-3, 7th)
-- With just 3 matches to go before the split they all matter a ton, but one against a team with the same number of points as us seems extra important.
We'll try Burke with Pickering at DC, Davidson will be the AML every chance he's fit enough to do it, and Shakespeare/Mora is my best combo in the midfield I think.
35': We haven't seen a single highlight yet. Unfortunatley, play stops here as Pickering is hurt and must leave the field. Lassiter is in.
HALF: Well that was dull. We haven't managed a shot yet, Owensboro has 3, all off target, none worthy of breaking into a highlight for. We're going to attack in the second half.
52': Shakespeare with a giveaway in midfield, they attack, getting a shot from the left side of the area, Gyan dives for it and pushes it away.
53': Breakaway for Owensboro on the right, MR Franco ends up all alone in the area and scores an easy goal. 0-1
61': Mora to Shakespeare for a great volleyed goal, but offsides.
77': Glaser in for Shakespeare.
88': A glaser cross earns us a corner, Davidson takes it, near post, Lassiter is there and heads it in!! Equalizer! 1-1
95': Only 3 minutes of extra time scheduled, so when a highlight starts at 94:30 I expect the whistle to blow any second, but we are given time to get our attack in, Glaser with a chip ahead to Navarro, Navarro turns and puts it into the area for Mora, Mora is all alone 10 yards out and he puts it on target!!! Did the ref lose track of time here? I'm glad he did, that's for sure! 2-1
The whistle does blow right after play is re-started.
Wake Forest 2 : 1 Owensboro
Man of the Match: Jhonatan Mora (7.3)
Goals: Mora, Lassiter (7.3)
Assists: Navarro (7.3), Davidson (6.9)
Notables: Arroyo (7.1)
DC Pickering is going to be out for about 2 weeks with a bruised rib.
We sit in 4th place with two matches to go until the split. Our remaining matches are against the #1 team and the #16 team.
That does make sense now that I think about it. No one moves to another city and finds a new full time job for what is still little more than an adult rec league level of play.
-- Bench Coach John Sammons is also getting a lot of offers to coach higher tier Reserve Squads. Neither have left just yet, but I'm sure its coming.
July 22nd, 2014
North American Amateur Cup - Second Round
Twin City Patrol vs Wake Forest Cougars
Note this is a cup match, not the league match. We will play these guys in another week in league play.
As much as I would love to win cup matches, we play a much more important league match in like 4 days, so guys like Mora, Arroyo, Cooper, Davidson, Navarro, they all sit.
One of their strikers, Clark, I give a "close down" order to, and their AMC Tuttle is left footed only and a pretty big scoring threat, so I want to make use his weak foot whenever possible. Both of them have 4 goals in less than 10 starts.
3': Midfielder Charles Luna with a yellow.
5': Build up down the right for Wake forest, Varela up to Crook, a cross to Reynoso, he shoots from near point blank range, but, right into the keeper's stomach.
12': Midfielder Luna with a foul... that's a his second yellow, he's gone!
29': Throwin in their end, Roth passes to Reynoso in the area, he centers to Shakespeare who pokes it into the net! 1-0
HALF: We fly to the half after that. We're playing better in every facet, and were off to a decent start before we went a man up, but now we should really have this. I tell the team I want to see more out of them and hope to see a second goal to make this safer.
46': We open the second half with lots of short passing and slowly work the ball forward down the left sdie. Reynoso near the corner passes to Perkins, Perkins to Roth, he shoots and scores! We get that 2nd goal real fast. 2-0
57': Yellow for Perkins.
59': Great long ball from Crook into the area, Roth controls it well, that's a clear cut chance.. but saved. Corner taken by Shakespeare, Garcia heads it, its saved but the rebound to Burke, he puts it in! 3-0
Twin City 0 : 3 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Garry Garcia (8.5)
Goals: Garcia, Shakespeare (8.5), Roth (7.5)
Assists: Shakespeare, Perkins (7.3), Reynoso (7.4)
Notables: Varela (7.4), Burke (7.2), Campbell (7.5), Crook (7.0)
Garcia had 8 headers, 3 of them key, in defense today, plus the goal to help earn him man of the match.
-- We receive $969 for this victory.
So its really hard to win if you go a man down 12 minutes in. I'm not sure if there's much to learn from this to apply to our upcoming rematch in league play.
-- Assistant Spenser Wadsworth takes a job coaching the reserves for the Yakima Reds in the Gold Coast 2nd Division
-- Coach John Sammons is now coaching the reserves of Indiana Utd in Colonial Division 2.
-- Both of those leagues are in the "US Supplemental Division 2" tier. That's two levels above us.
-- So I saw all the job offers come in for those coaches, but I never saw a notice that they took the jobs and left Wake Forest. I only noticed it happened because I got a notice that many training categories now lacked coaching.
I offer the assistant job to my remaining coach, Zizi Roberts. He accepts. I then make offers to fill the open coaching spots.
North America Amateur Cup - Third Round Draw
Down to 32 teams. We get another home match, this one against St Louis Kutis SC from the "All-American Amateur League" one tier above us.
July 25th, 2014
Wake Forest Cougars (6-4-3, 3rd) vs Tupelo Possums (1-3-9, 16th)
We would probably clinch a top 7 spot with a win today.
3': Davidson with a free kick from 40 yards out, his kick ends up more of a shot than a cross... it hits the crossbar, falls to Mora, but his followup shot is blocked. The ball hangs around in the penalty area for what seems like years before finally being controlled by Navarro, but his shot is wide.
9': A long shot from Coggins earns us a corner. Its cleared easily.
10': Davidson finds Mora who has a good look, shot is blocked though, and we earn a corner, which again is cleared.
20': They attack straight up the middle, two nice passes to get foward, a through ball into the area, their ST Saunders is the only one there, and he wins the 1 on 1 with the keeper. 0-1
24': Mora into the right side of the area for Cooper, but his shot is well wide.
HALF: I lay into the team a bit at the half, and most of them seem motivated by my words. We have 6 shots to their 3, but only 1 on target. We are passing better, and are better in the air, we really should be able to get this goal back.
63': Navarro shoots from 20 yards out, its wide though.
64': Glaser with a lob ahead to Navarro, he gets behind the defense but pulls up and shoots a long shot instead of trying to get into the area. Its high.
75': Shakespeare in for Glaser, Tapia in for Pena
80': They earn a corner off a free kick, we're unable to clear it after a weak header away, the ball is kicked around in the crowded box for a moment before their man Saunders puts it in. 0-2
84': We get a corner, taken to the near post, headed by Garcia... off the crossbar.
Yup. That just happened.
Wake Forest 0 : 2 Tupelo
I obviously tell the team that this was a match we have to win, and I'm extremely disappointed.
I think we actually didn't play all that poorly, we generated 15 shots after all, but only 1 on target, and there were many highlights where it seemed like we were settling for a difficult shots where in other games we would hold the ball up or make the one extra pass to find a better look.
So we play the #1 team, Twin City. Hickory is in 8th, and they play the team that just beat us, Tupelo. Huntington, the current 7th place team, plays #13 Model City. Man we really, really blew it today. We're now in an extremely tough spot.
New Staff Member(s)
We sign 44 y/o Abdul Thompson Conteh as a coach. He played in MLS but this is his first chance coaching anywhere. 14 determination/14 adaptability/13 discipline. His coaching attributes are all 6-7.
We also sign 43 y/o Antonin Plachy as a coach. 8 man management. 6 in many attributes, atacking/defending/mental/technical. 13 determination/13 motivation/13 discipline/12 adaptability.
-- Most of our "general" training (tactics/ball control/attacking/shooting) are now at a 2* level. str/aerobic/defending are at 1 1/2*, sorry goalkeepers, you get 1* training.
-- AML Dylan Rose has resumed full training. He's been out for a month so he isn't going to be starting in our next match, but it'll be good to have him back soon.
-- Cooper, Tapia, and Lassiter are noted for training well. DMC Brian Williams trained poorly, but he's been hurt for awhile.
-- The board remains very pleased with my results. The singing of Mora is going to carry me through the whole season as a positive note. Our awful 0-2 loss to the worst team in the league is a negative, as it should be. We made $1,690 last month!
August 1st, 2014
Twin City Patrol (7-5-2, 1st) vs Wake Forest Cougars (6-4-4, 6th)
We crushed Twin City on the road in a cup match recently, but it was due in large part to an early red card for them.
I make a number of changes from my last lineup, not really due to fatigue though, just because I refuse to run the same lineup out there that shit the bed in our last match.
Their two biggest threats are both at ST today, David Tuttle and Jonathan Carter, we're closing down on both and trying to force them to their weaker side.
Defensive mindset today.
12': Tapia a free kick from 20 yards out, but he puts his shot high.
22': Yellow for Campbell
30': Corner for Twin City, its too close though and Gyan catches it.
31': A long ball to Navarro, he takes it down the left side, gets it into the area for Davidson, shoots.. saved.
42': Davidson sends the ball to the end line, Mora gets to it and crosses into the area, Navarro with the header... saved.
HALF: Shots are even at 3, we have 2 on target, but both were weak efforts right at the keeper. Just one for them. They are doing a little better in the air winning headers, which is unusual for us, we almost always win there.
So far, all the other games are working out for us. Hickory is tied with Tupelo, Huntington is getting upset by Model City, even a team ahead of us, Asheville, is getting beaten. That could all change quickly, but right now we'd sit in 4th.
54': Navarro lobs the ball into the area for Davidson, he's got a 1 on 1 with the keeper, he actually chips it over him... I have not seen that work a single time this season at this level, but Davidson does it! He gets it into the net! 1-0
57': Their ST Carter receives a header in the area and gets a shot, but its wide.
59': Long pass from the midfield ahead to Midfielder Alvarado, he knocks it well ahead with his first touch and runs the ball down and gets it by Gyan. 1-1
60': Other games have evened out and it looks like if we lose we will not finish top 7.
76': Reynoso in for Navarro, Pena in for Tapia, Burke in for Pickering, all for fatigue.
81': They have a throwin deep in their own end, slowly build it up the field, midfielder Luna down the left side, crosses in and ST Carter shoots... its a clear cut chance, and it hits the left post and bounces in. 1-2
Not another highglight until the very last moments.
Twin City 2 : 1 Wake Forest
Man of the Match : Brian Davidson (7.4)
Assist: Navarro (7.0)
We didn't actually play that bad in the loss, but that stings.
And that's that. Why does it have to be split at the top 7!? Roanoke makes it over us despite the same goal differential, having scored one more goal so far this year.
So we've got 8 more matches to go, but nothing at all to play for. Lets finish 8th, I guess!
Check the payout table. For me the diff between first of the last & bottom of the last is fairly substantial (about $325k, diff between a profitable year & a year in the red)
-- DL David Campbell will miss our next match after getting his 2nd yellow card.
-- AML Luca Colangelo is back to full training
-- Our assistant coach Zizi Roberts "starts on a coaching course" to get him a "Continental B License". I dunno what that means, but he's paying for it himself.
I'm dropping the highlight level to "key highlights" instead of "extended highlights" to get through the season a bit faster, since we have nothing to play for outside of the Cup we're still in.
August 15th, 2014
Jackson Red Shirts (5-4-6, 11th) vs Wake Forest Cougars (6-4-5, 8th)
Somehow Jackson are 1:6 favorites for this. WTF?!
Campbell sits today with his yellow card suspension.
4': A nice cross in from the left and header by their ST Teran for a goal. 0-1
HALF: Reynoso in for Roth, who picked up a knock that dropped his fitness a bunch. Only two shots each today so this would be pretty boring even with extended highlights.
64': Glaser in for Mora
70': From a Standard mindset to attacking.
71': AMR Ryan Crook is hurt and must leave the match immediately. I don't really have anyone who fits there. MC Bayard Perkins is going to come in and do his best.
81': We build up possession and hold the ball for some time, short passing, eventually Reynoso finds Davidson who has a clear cut chance coming in from the left... but he puts his shot wide.
And that's it.
Jackson 1 : 0 Wake Forest
Notables: Shakespeare (7.0)
AML Davidson with a rare terrible game, 5.9 rating for him.
Ah, good idea. However, this is an extremely cheap league. 1st pays $31,000. 8th pays $14,000, going pretty steadily downward to $1600 for 16th place.
We've made a profit of $106,000 this year so far, half of that due to that one win in the North American Open awhile back. $13k isn't going to be enough for motivation sadly.
-- DL David Campbell will miss our next match after getting his 2nd yellow card.
-- AML Luca Colangelo is back to full training
-- Our assistant coach Zizi Roberts "starts on a coaching course" to get him a "Continental B License". I dunno what that means, but he's paying for it himself.
I'm dropping the highlight level to "key highlights" instead of "extended highlights" to get through the season a bit faster, since we have nothing to play for outside of the Cup we're still in.
August 20th, 2014
North America Amateur Cup - Third Round
Wake Forest vs Kutis SC
Kutis are 1-4 favorites, we're 9:1 to win this one. The oddsmakers are really really down on us after a little losing streak. These guys are in a higher division though.
Defensive mindset. We'll do extended highlights for the cup match.
10': Cooper with the corner kick, Pickering gets his head to it and puts it in! 1-0
13': Davidson being aggressive wins us the ball in the midfield, we don't attack directly, we build up play and take our time, eventually Davidson lobs a ball over the defense, Navarro runs onto it and gets a clear cut chance, but their keeper rushes out and stops it. It goes back for a corner, we get a shot off the corner but its a weak one.
23': Mora is hurt and must come out. Shakespeare is in.
24': Cooper with a free kick from 35 yards out, he shoots, I think, it seems like a very forceful ball if it was supposed to be a cross. Their keeper gets in front of it, but can't hold it, and a defender clumsily puts it into the net! 2-0
32': Shakespeare with a good ball ahead to Navarro, he has to slow down to control it though and the defense gets back. He tries a shot but its well wide.
35': Cooper with another free kick, they try to clear but can't competely, Shakespeare puts it ahead for Pena in the area and he finishes! 3-0
42': Navarro back to Shakespeare, he sends it right to Cooper, Navarro makes a run, Cooper immediately sends it forward, Navarro gets into the right side of the area, shoots and its into the left side of the net! 4-0
HALF: Man where was this team against Tupelo a couple weeks ago. *bitter* I'm bringing Reynoso in for Navarro. Reynoso hasn't scored for us yet, putting him in now probably gives him his best chance.
58': I didn't mention a yellow for Kutis defender Walburn earlier in the match, but its relevant now as he picks up a second and is sent off.
69': Samir Pace coming in for Cooper, his first action in over a month thanks to injuries.
That'll do it!
Wake Forest 4 : 0 Kutis SC
Man of the Match: Joe Pickering (8.7)
Goals: Pickering, Pena (8.4), Navarro (8.2)
Assists: Cooper 3 (8.3), Shakespeare (8.5)
Notables: Gyan (7.2), Varela (7.9), Galvis (7.7), Campbell (8.0), Glaser (7.8), Davidson (7.7)
-- We get $4,840 for winning this one. Not bad given that the first round win was worth $200.
Jhonathan Mora is out for the rest of our season, he has a dislocated shoulder and is out for 3 months.
Strange that it's top 7 instead of top 8.
North America Amateur Cup - Fourth Round Draw
Down to 16 teams. We luck out with another home match. We're going to be playing Tiburones United, from Carlsbad, CA. They're in the Gold Coast Amateur League, one tier above us. We beat another team from their division, the California Gold, earlier in the tournament.
We'll play this one in early September.
August 23rd, 2014
Wake Forest (6-4-6, 10th) vs Huntington Hammers (7-1-7, 11th)
Odds are basically even here, nice to not be some crazy 1-3 underdogs in league. Huntington have lost their last 5 matches in a row.
Some changes in the midfield. Rose and Williams are both fit again finally but tired. I hope to play them next match.
14': They ahve a corner, taken near post, and headed in. Ugh. 0-1
44': Campbell wins a ball on a tackle to start our offense, Davidson with a cross to the 18 yard line, Perkins heads it foward, Shakespeare volleys it, and its in! 1-1
46': Complete breakaway for Navarro, but instead of running at the keeper, he pulls up from 18 yards out, waits for the keeper to come out a bit, and shoots it right at him. Cooper takes the corner, Galvis is there and heads it.. .goal! 2-1
HALF: We get two quick scores to take the lead, glad to see that.
60': Lassiter in for Pickering, who is tired.
69': Lassiter picks up a small injury, but can continue playing.
81': Shakespeare starts our offense with an interception, ahead to Cooper, to Navarro, he holds it up at the top of the key, passes left to Davidson cutting towards the goal, Davidson fires and scores! 3-1
89': A yellow for Campbell
That's it! Good win, especially after giving up the opening goal.
Wake Forest 3 : 1 Huntington
MAn of the Match: Mark Shakespeare (8.0)
Goals: Shakespeare, Galvis (7.4), Davidson (7.4)
Assists: Perkins (7.4), Cooper (7.2), Navarro (6.8)
-- DC Tommy Lassiter is going to miss 2 weeks with a bruised rib.
-- DL Campbell misses another match due to an extra yellow card.
We're up to "accomplished" in most areas now, still have a ways to go but I enjoy seeing that message!
-- Ian Cooper trains well, ST Navarro does not.
-- The board is very pleased with my leadership. A great team atmosphere is a big reason. Our 0-2 loss to Tupelo is the big negative. We made $2.5k profit last month.
September 3rd, 2014
North America Amateur Cup - Fourth Round
Wake Forest Cougars vs Tiburones United
We're a healthy Jhon Mora away from being able to field our best possible roster. Coggins in for Campbell due to card suspension, Campbell seems to be playing better there, but that's close.
Defensive mindset/retain possession, pretty much our default method of playing at this point.
8': Beautiful play after a long goal kick, Navarro heads it down to Shakespeare, wide right to Cooper, Cooper with a strong cross to the far side, Rose slams it in! 1-0
17': Cooper down the right side, a cross to the 6 yard box, near post, Navarro stops it with his left foot, and has just long enough to settle himself and put it in! The keeper made a move to the far post, misjudging the cross. 2-0
35': Cooper has it again, this time a short pass to Shakespeare about 25 yards out, he pokes it ahead to Navarro, Navarro passes across to the other side, where Rose puts it in again! 3-0
43': Rose with an interception in defense, starts the attack, ahead to Navarro who runs forward a ways, then lays it to Shakespeare, he shoots from just outside the penalty area, two men nearby, that's a tough shot, but its on target and by the keeper! 4-0
HALF: Man we really came to play today.
89': Well, we don't get much time to enjoy Dylan Rose's great play today. He goes out injured here. Davidson is in.
Wake Forest 4 : 0 Tiburones United
Man of the match: Dylan Rose (9.2)
Goals: Rose 2, Navarro (8.3), Shakespeare (8.6)
Assits: Cooper 2 (9.1), Navarro 2
Notables: Gyan (7.1), Arroyo (8.0), Galvis (7.6), Pickering (7.7), Coggins (8.0), Williams (7.5), Glaser (7.6)
-- NO long term injury for Rose. Whew.
-- We get $14,530 for the win today, and we're on to the quarterfinals of the Amateur Cup!
North America Amateur Cup - Quarterfinal Draw
There are two teams left from the bottom tier, ourselves and Hawaii's own Hilo Tsunami. Everyone else is in the tier above ours. One team, "Match Fit Academy" seems to be one of those fairly loaded teams, that seems like the only team we specifically want to avoid.
Match Fit will travel to Hawaii to play Hilo.
We're going to get another home game, against another Gold Coast team from California, the Southern California Seahorses, from La Mirada, CA. We play them in two weeks.
September 9th, 2014
Nashville Soul (5-4-9, 13th) vs Wake Forest Cougars(7-4-6, 9th)
We won in the first meeting earlier this year.
Rose and Williams (DMC) aren't ready to go two in a row yet, the rest of the team is. We have one more match between now and our Cup match, so this is basically the team I hope to play in the cup match, and our next match in a few days we'll rotate out most everyone.
Defensive/Retain possession as always. Just key highlights here.
12': Cooper with a cross into the area, Navarro with the header, looks easy! 1-0
14': Glsaer with a key lob down the left for Davidson, passes ahead to Navarro, he shoots, but saved.
30': Free kick out right near the end line, Cooper crosses in, Shakespeare with a shot, blocked, but Tapia is there to finish on the rebound! 2-0
31': A defender of theirs holding on to the ball in their own penalty area just passed the ball directly to Cooper, who takes the gift and puts it in the net. Wild. 3-0
HALF: I misclick on the team talk and tell teh team I'm NOT happy with them. Whoops.
86': They get one back on a corner. 3-1
Nashville 1 : 3 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Ian Cooper (8.3)
Goals: Cooper, Tapia (7.7), Navarro (8.1)
Assists: Cooper 2
Notables: Arroyo (7.0), Shakespeare (7.6)
Cooper is killing it lately.
September 12th, 2014
Danville Villains (7-4-8, 11th) vs Wake Forest Cougars(8-4-6, 9th)
We lost at home earlier in the year.
Everyone who we want in our cup match, even our keeper, is sitting today.
30': Crook sends in a crappy cross that their keeper collects. The keeper drops the ball to kick it away, and he mishits it, so instead of sending it 50 yards downfield, he basically lobs it 10 yards away to Davidson, who volleys it before the keeper can recover, and puts it on target into the empty net. 1-0
HALF: LOL? We have 6 shots to their 0, and 65% of the possession.
48': We get a highlight of their first shot. Its weak and saved by Harrington.
49': This was better from them, a cross in from the left, Headed, Harrington gets a hand to it but can't stop it. 1-1
75': Crook with a nice lob to Pace, who controls it well with a step on his man, he lines up a shot and scores! 2-1
And htat's it.
Danville 1 : 2 Wake Forest
Man of the Match: Ryan Crook (7.4)
Goals: Davidson (7.2), Pace (7.3)
Notables: Sandoval (7.1)
We were the far better team today, only allowing 3 shots, taking 10 ourselves, and controlling nearly 60% of the possession, but it took awhile to seal it.
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