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FIFA 2020: FC Dallas play through, England Pyramid

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The votes are in, and FC Dallas is off to Europe for this play through! Welcome to Episode 1!

Welcome to the first FC Dallas FIFA 20 Play through report, we’ll call it Episode 1.

The votes from last week have been tallied, and we have a clear runaway winner. Say hello to the English Pyramid!

For this play through, FC Dallas is being moved to League Two (England Division 4).

In this episode we will discuss roster decisions, game plan for the season (formation, playing style), and the little things that need to be addressed before Day 1.

The Little Things

One small thing, but a big deal for the duration of the play through is the stadium you will play in. FC Dallas has Crown Lane (24,000+ capacity) as the default stadium. Keep in mind that the stadium you choose may have limited weather options. It is fine to keep the default stadium if you wish, but if I’m going to make an impression on English football, then I want a bigger stadium. I have chosen Eastpoint Arena (53,000+ capacity).

I’ve also given it a distinctly Texan sponsorship name...Whataburger Arena!

I’m an experienced player and will be playing at World Class difficulty, with 6 minute halves for this season. I will not be accepting International Job Offers for this season.

Tips & Tricks #1 - You can enhance your play through by playing your road matches at a difficulty level higher than you play your home matches. This will make you look forward to your matches at home, and make you dread your matches on the road.

Preseason Friendly Tournament Invitation

The preseason friendly tournament is far more valuable than some people may realize, and you should absolutely accept an invitation.

Winning the tournament provides you with additional transfer funds, in this case to the tune of $4,290,000. The other reason to play in the tournament is to help get your players in form. The final reason is that you can make sure that every single player on your roster gets to see action. This is a Friendly tournament, so every one of your seven reserve players can be subbed in to the match and you should do this sometime in the second half.

Tips & Tricks #2: For the reasons listed above, I always play the preseason tournament in Semi-Pro difficulty, with four minute halves. This leads to some lopsided wins but since the games are meaningless, your goal is to ensure you get those much needed transfer funds. It is also far easier to loan or sell a player after he has shown well in the Friendlies. You are also likely to get a better offer if the player is in fine form.

For those of you that can’t stomach sometimes scoring 7+ goals on decent European teams, then I would recommend that you play no higher than Professional difficulty. You can still win the tournament. However, it will lead to very close games and your team lack of form, may cost you the preseason tournament.

Game plan for League Two

FC Dallas is a massive favorite to win League Two and can potentially go unbeaten if the starting line up remains unchanged. FC Dallas also will enter League Two with the biggest Transfer Budget (22 million) — a massive payroll by league standards.

For these reasons, the game plan for the season is to field a squad composed mostly of players 23 years and under, with huge growth potential. Since the team will be a very young team, I plan to have 22 players that will alternate starts to maximize development. We’ll call this Team 1a and Team 1b. The goal is to have Team 1a consist of players with a rating 65 and above (age average of 23 years old) and Team 1b to consist of players with a rating 60 and above (age average of under 20 years old). This means there will be some serious rotation of players and will require a roster of 28 players or more for it to be effective. The heavy rotation will make fatigue a non issue and will significantly minimize the odds that injuries will become an issue.

To make the two-team-rotating-starts concept a reality, I have to remove any player with a crucial contract. This means any player with at least a 70 rating must be loaned out or transfered. Players that are 30 years old or older with at least a 70 rating will be made available for transfer (Ziegler). Players below the age of 30, with a rating 70 or higher, will be sent on loan (Gonzalez, Cannon, Hedges, Santos, Acosta, Barrios, Bressan, and Mosquera).

Due to the poor quality of team reserves, all players with a rating 60 or below, will be made available for transfer (Servania, Zobeck, Twumasi, Roberts, Nelson, Munjoma, Reynolds, Atuahene, and Pepi). That’s a total of 18 players which I will attempt to Loan or Transfer, in the first Transfer Window. This means that FC Dallas will have to add a lot of bodies (about 19!) by the end of the first Transfer Window, and fast!

Tips & Tricks #3 - FC Dallas will be playing in the English 4th Division. Many of the players you scout as potential signings, will have zero interest in playing at such a low level league (a good 70% to 80%). Combine that with the fact that I intend to avoid signing players looking for a crucial contract, and it is very likely that the 22 million dollar transfer budget (plus Preseason Tournament winnings) will be more than enough to fill out the roster. It is for this reason that you do not simply transfer list all of your best players. Even if you wanted to sell some of those players, you are better off loaning them this season and selling them the following season when you will be playing in a higher league. You’ll then have time to scout a ton of possible signings.

The formation used will be 4-3-3 with a single pivot (4-1-2-3). It will be a fast aggressive team, that will score a ton of goals (at his level). I want to add speed at every position (80+ Pace), with good stamina (70+ Stamina) throughout the roster.

My preferred playing style is to lock on to one player for the entirety of the match, preferably a box-to-box midfielder that behaves like a quarterback on the attack, and can drop deep to help the defense. The player must be fast (75+ pace/acceleration) and durable (80+ stamina).

Objectives Overview

You don’t really have any worries about getting fired. Winning cures all, and as long as you win the League Title, you’ll be fine. That doesn’t mean your popularity won’t drop, but you can avoid that by making sure you accomplish at least one other objective.

The two objectives not listed under Objectives Overview are both three year objectives, and therefore you need not worry about them this season.

Tips & Tricks #4: You can achieve the Emirates FA Cup objective by playing those Cup matches at a lesser difficulty and starting your best line up. I usually play FA Cup matches at Professional difficulty until I reach the Round of 32, before returning the difficulty setting back to World Class.

I will point out Tips & Tricks as I encounter them in the play through. There are some Tricks that if you over use, can break your play through (such as making sure you never lose a player to injury long term). For this reason, I will leave it up to you, to decide just how clean of a play through I should undertake:


Just how often should I use Tricks in the play through?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Never - clean play through, with no tricks
    (10 votes)
  • 22%
    Occasional - Once or twice, here and there.
    (4 votes)
  • 16%
    Moderate - Do as many tricks as you are comfortable with.
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    High - Winning UEFA Europa League within 3 seasons isn’t too much to ask.
    (1 vote)
18 votes total Vote Now

Let me know your thoughts, comments, criticisms, questions on this play through. Feel free to add any tips and tricks I failed to mention within the discussed portion of this episode.

See you next time, for Episode 2: Day 1