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FIFA 2020: FC Dallas and the regular season in England

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We finally get into the meat of the English regular season. Welcome to Episode 5!

Welcome to Episode 5 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 Episode 3, we partook in the Preseason Friendly Tournament, won it, and made some roster moves.
  • In Episode 4, we started the season and finalized the roster that will carry us til mid season.

Note: This is a Clean Play Through. This means no shenanigans are allowed at all, and we’ll have to roll with the punches as they land.

First day of the Month...again

The first disaster of the season hits us on September 1st. Jannik Dehm, who has started every match at right back and has been dominant the whole time, suffers a training injury. Dehm suffers a Lateral Collateral Ligament injury and is out for two months.

Remember that my back line is pretty thin, so I am forced to move an attacking player to right back. Valery has been rotating with Fafa Picault on the left wing, and will now be moved to starting right back, a position he is capable of playing.

Tips & Tricks #1: The 1st day of any month is the most common day for your players to suffer training injuries. Most of the long term injuries are likely to happen on this day. It is for this reason that you can all but insure an injury free season by saving the game on the last days of the month. This way if a player is lost long term to an injury (or even a couple of weeks), you can simply exit the game, and reload to the time prior to the injury. All 1st day injuries are random, so you should be able to keep reloading until no injuries are suffered.

RB Salzburg pays the $5.3 million release clause for Jesus Ferreira, which forces me to resign him to a Crucial Contract. I don’t like to have players on Crucial Contracts in the lower leagues, but my roster is thin enough that Jesus will get all the playing time he wants.

Tips & Tricks #2: Never ever allow a player to include a release clause in their contracts. Having other teams sign away a key player at any point in the season, can be a real headache if you are not prepared (insufficient funds to resign, or no good replacements).

The loss of our starting right back, really has an all around negative effect on the team, and the losses soon start coming in.

The youth scouts also don’t help much as they keep bringing me solid 15 year old players (four signed to the Youth Academy so far) who will help me eventually, but not right now. We promote a 57 rated 17 year old CF. We also promote a 16 year old goalkeeper with a 56 rating to be the back up for Maurer. Campos is the name of the kid and he will help us achieve one of our season objectives, by being trained up 10+ rating points before the end of the season and playing in 10 matches after reaching that rating.

Tips & Tricks #3 & #4: Whenever you are given the season objective “promote a youth from the academy, increase his rating by 10 points and afterwards play him in 10 matches”, you must promote a goalkeeper to achieve this objective. Keepers are the youths who grow the fastest with regular training, and no playing time. They can grow at a rate of two-to-three points per month, so long as they get one training session every week.

Please be advised that you are inflating the GK’s rating and he will not actually be anywhere near as good as his rating indicates. This means that you are better off selling the player in the following season, at a sizable profit. So if you’re going to inflate his rating, then you’re best off not stopping after 10 points.

The team goes on a four match winless streak, that includes an upset loss in the 2nd round of the Trophy on PKs. It also sees the team lose by a 2-1 score to Manchester City in the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup. At the end of the month, the team finds itself in 2nd place, 5 points out of first place.

First day of the Month...again...and again

The start of October brings further bad news. Valery, who was starting at right back, in place of our injured starting right back, is also lost to injury. Valery suffers a dislocated shoulder and is out for three weeks.

Rekeem Harper, who has been rotating at attacking mid with Pomykal, is our new starting right back. I soon find out that Harper is prone to yellow cards, so I have to tone done his aggressive tackles setting. This turns out to be a huge decision, as Harper settles in at right back after an initial loss and the team returns to its winning ways.

The start of November sees both of our injured players return, and the team goes on a dominant winning streak into December, including a run in the FA Cup that sees us exit in the Round of 32. The FA Cup run, means we achieved one of our season objectives.

Note: I for one am happy that the team is out of all three tournaments. The schedule congestion with such a thin roster, has been a real pain in the ass.

Summer Transfer Window

We begin the month of January in 3rd place, a full nine points behind 1st place Colchester, who have only lost one match all season. The good news is that the team is in full health and we enter the transfer window with just under $6 million in the transfer budget. We have also employed a Quantity over Quality approach to signing Academy Youths (average rating of 58), so we have around eight youths who will be sold or swapped. Further good news is that some of the young players have grown to the point that they can begin pushing for starting minutes (Nathan Wood and Nkosi Burgess are both at a 66 rating).

Bressan joins Besiktas on loan and Acosta joins Monterrey on loan. This triggers a signing spree that will solve all of the teams depth issues, and fill the two new vacancies on the starting rotation:

Sikou Niakate signed from FA Guingamp, for $1.35 million + a youth player.

Maxence Lacroix is signed from FC Sochaux-Montbelliard for $1.3 million + 10% + Matthew Riddenton (FA signing).

Reece Burke is signed from Hull City, for $800k + Thiago Santos

These three signings, plus the growth of our young reserves, means that all of our back line issues have been solved. I now have to replace departed Thiago Santos, and do so with a pair of signings.

Rayan Ravelson is signed from ESTAC Troyer, for $1.4 million + a youth player.

Yago Gandoy is signed from RC Deportivo, for $800k + Pepi

Both of this midfielders will be rock solid at the League Two and League One levels, and are likely to be sold off or swapped next season for better younger players.

Tips & Tricks #5: Pepi is a horrible player in FIFA 20. You can spend an entire year training him up 10 points, so by next season he’ll be 59 rated and will still be unable to get on the field.

The end of the Summer Transfer Window, sees the team with just under $500k left in the budget, but all our depth issues have been solved. The team also finishes the month in 2nd place, just two points behind Colchester.

Here is the roster that will carry the team to the League Two Title.

You can see that depth is no longer an issue. Combined with the fact that there is minimal schedule congestion for the remainder of the season. This team should dominate the remainder of the year. This is also a very young team now and should see sizable growth across the majority of the roster.

Also, a quick reminder that we have six players out on loan with at least a 71 rating (Gonzalez, Hedges, Bressan, Acosta, Barrios, and Mosquera). All six players will be recalled before the start of next season, which should give us a formidable team next year.

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 6: Title Run.