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FIFA 2020: Preseason for FC Dallas in the English Pyramid

Preseason in England finally gets underway. Welcome to Episode 3!

Welcome to Episode 3 of the FC Dallas FIFA 20 Play through.

In Episode 1, we discussed all the preparations that needed to to be made as we moved FC Dallas to the English pyramid.

In Episode 2, we had a very busy Day 1. Implementing many of the decisions made in the previous episode.

In this episode, we partake in the Preseason Friendly Tournament and begin making actual changes to the roster.

Note: The votes on last episode’s poll have been tallied, and Clean Play Through has carried the day. This means no shenanigans are allowed at all and we’ll have to roll with the punches as they land. Furthermore, this means that I can not use the many sources available online for acquiring players, so I must strictly rely on my scouts for player acquisitions.

Stroll in the park

As stated in our first episode, the tournament is played at the Semi Pro difficulty level and it’s outcome is never in doubt.

The first match of the group stage proves to be the toughest match of the entire tournament, as FC Dallas wins by a 2-0 score. The entire roster sees action in the three group stage matches and soon the transfer offers start rolling in.

Three players are promptly sold. Brandon Servania is sold to Morecambe ($310k), Bryan Reynolds is sold to Finn Harps ($80k), and Zobeck is sold to Tranmere Rovers ($65k).

I send out my three youth scouts to the US, Mexico, and England. I would normally send them to places like Brazil, Argentina, and Germany, but most of our real Homegrown players are American or Mexican. England is the pyramid we are in for the duration of this play through, so there must be a scout sent there. All three scouts are sent out on the same day (the 6th).

Note: To maximize your ability to perform youth academy cheats, your three youth scouts should all be sent out on different days (more on that in a later episode). Since this is a clean play through, I have instead sent out all three youth scouts at the same time.

The first bad news of the play through rolls in. The free agent pool is super shallow, with no high upside youths or potential starters. Only one or two bench quality players that could provide depth at this level.

Still, I need bodies badly so I sign the best available free agent

Lewis will be a solid backup player at this level, he’s very versatile and his overall stats suggest he will also be able to play as a full back (where he is likely to get most of his minutes). Yes, this was the best of a very poor free agent pool.

Tough choices, and tough deals

After waltzing through the tournament semifinal, we get our first tough choice of the play through. We receive a loan offer for Reggie Cannon, that we simply can’t refuse. This forces us to sign a replacement for Cannon far sooner than expected.

Tips & Tricks #1: If you loan out or transfer a key player, make sure you add his roster replacement first. I usually wait until I receive an offer for the player before adding his replacement. The replacement has to be signed before the loaned/transfer player joins his new team (one to three days after accepting the offer). This will allow you to convince the replacement player to take a lesser role. At the League Two level, any player with at least a 68 rating is likely to demand a Crucial Contract unless there is a higher rated player already in that position.

This is a tough decision because the scouts have not dug up many candidates at the right back position this early into the preseason. The players available are also not cheap nor are they young players with big upsides. With the fact that there is no replacement for Cannon already on the roster, I have no choice but to pick the best available option.

I approach the player I want and I make an offer. The counter offer is a tough one.

Ignore the budget. I forgot to record the initial transaction, so I had to recreate it. The counter offer was identical.

The final deal is FC Dallas gets Jannik Dehm while Holstein Kiel gets Reto Ziegler and $1 million. Jannik signs on for a salary of $5k with four years on an Important Contract. Jannik is a 23 year old right back (69 rating, 75 potential), who has 80+ pace and 80+ stamina, with a reputation as a beastly defender that will make him a stud at this level. The contract signed by Jannik will allow me to sign and give plenty of playing time to a young right back eventually. Jannik will also make a great backup for Reggie next season.

Tips & Tricks #2: When making an offer for a player, always offer a player swap. It doesn’t matter who you offer because they will most likely refuse the first player offered. Once you offer a player swap, the other club will let you know which three positions they need the most, which will then allow you to offer other players on your roster. If you can find a player to swap, it may save you from using too much of your available transfer funds.

Even if you can not find a player to swap, the attempt to swap players will allow you to bypass the target player in form asking price, and will allow you to make an offer slightly below the players stated value (thus saving you money).

Cannon is loaned out to Nimes Olympique (France top flight). This is a great landing spot for him and one that I would totally be happy about if it happened in real life.

Tips & tricks #3: You should always send players on loan to leagues that are better than the current league you are competing in (unless you are a top the food chain). The better the league, the better your loaned player will develop. If you send your player on loan within your league or a lesser league, it may actually stunt and even damage his growth.

FC Dallas wins the tournament final with ease, and we soon receive a loan offer for Jesse Gonzalez. I accept the offer and Jesse goes on loan to Rangers FC (Scotland). I’m actually a fan of Rangers FC in real life,so this loan has my approval.

I don’t like any of the available options at goal keeper, so I decide that Jimmy Maurer will be my only goal keeper on the roster until I can sign a kid off the Youth Academy to be his back up.

Tips & tricks #4: When trying to sell or loan a lot of players on your roster, you should save your game before a stretch of three or more days between matches. In the preseason, there is a long stretch of days after the tournament without any matches, so this is easy to do. You skip forward for three to seven days, and if you don’t receive an offer, you exit the game and reload your previous save. You keep doing this until an offer comes in. Once you receive an offer, the dates reset, and you do it all over again. This is extremely time consuming, but it will allow you to move most of the players you are trying to get rid off.

The rest of the month comes and goes without any further loan or transfer offers arriving for players on our roster. Normally I would employ some tricks to make sure I receive offers from other clubs, but those shenanigans are not allowed in this play through. With that, this concludes the current episode of this play through.

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 4: Regular Season, 1st Month.