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FIFA 2020: FC Dallas takes on the English Championship

FC Dallas begin play in the English Championship, and partake in the UEFA Europa League Qualifiers. Welcome to Season 3, Episode 1!

Welcome to Season 3: Episode 1 of the FC Dallas FIFA 20 play through.

In Season 2, FC Dallas destroyed their League One opposition and won the Carabao Cup.

In this episode, we’re going to make some massive additions to the roster and revamp the bottom half of the roster. We will also begin English Championship play and attempt to qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stage. This will be a bit of a long write up, but totally necessary.

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 come.

Manager Objectives

The only manager objective that worries me is the Youth Development. I need four youth signed and playing in 20 matches combined this season. I also need five youths grown 10 points each by next season. My youth scouts have not really provided much, so this one will be tough to achieve. I fire one of my eight star youth scouts and replace him with a nine star youth scout right away. I also use my second Future Star perk of this play through.

The rest of the objectives should be easily achieved just through normal preparations being made for next season. FC Dallas is expected to make the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals by management - which will be hard to achieve - but not impossible. Be advised that the jersey numbers will change through out the season, as it is a well known way to generate money.

Tips & Trick #1: It is a well known trick to constantly change player jersey numbers, to generate revenue through jersey sales. There are specific manager objectives that ask directly for a specific amount of revenue from jersey sales. It can also help your team’s overall value if you are generating more revenue through jersey sales.

Minimum Roster Standards

Last season we raised the minimum roster standards after the summer transfer window.

The new minimum roster standards are as follows:

16 years old - 64 rating
17 years old - 67 rating
18 years old - 69 rating
19 years old - 70 rating
20 years old - 71 rating
21 years old - 73 rating
22 years old - 74 rating
23 years old - 75 rating
24 years old - 76 rating
25 years old - 77 rating

You don’t need to clear out your transfer shortlist, you just have to remove any players that no longer meet your new standards.

Roster Decisions, and Preparations

Let us first look at the FC Dallas roster as we begin preseason preparations. Zdenek Ondrasek has announced his retirement at the end of the season and will finish his career with FCD.

The game plan for improving the roster is simple and here is the checklist of what we will be looking to achieve:

  1. Sign a stud center back that will anchor the back line for years to come.
  2. Sign a stud midfielder that will elevate the entire midfield and force one of the starters to the second team.
  3. Sell any reserves that are not in the top 30 (Cobra is the 30th player). We have 46 players on the roster at the start of the preseason.
  4. Sell some player in the second team at a profit. The players to be sold are Ferguson, Casseres Jr, Lacroix, Niakate, Kalimuendo, McLennan, Kone, Wood, and Laird. These players can be sold well above their market value, and can be replaced by players bought below their market value. This should generate a ton of transfer funds for the team, sufficient to actually improve some of the second team positions.

Preseason departures and acquisitions

After winning the preseason friendly tournament, buying the best youth scout available, and buying the best talent scout available, FC Dallas enters the transfer window with $16 million. When I say $16 million, the amount actually represents 80% of the overall budget. The rest of the budget is set aside for player wages.

Tips & Tricks #2: You should always adjust your transfer/wage budgets to an 80% (transfer) and 20% (wages) split. If you set your transfer budget to 100%, your new player wages (and bonus) will be taken directly out of your transfer budget and you will find out that you are paying way more than you expected. The higher the value of your overall budget, the less of a percentage you can assign to the wages budget.

Nathan Furgeson (Cannon’s back up) is sold to Athletic Club for $20.7 million. This brings FCDs transfer budget up to $30 million and allows the team to make the first major signing of the season.

William Saliba is signed from Arsenal for $23.5 million. Saliba is a big physical young stud, who will be an every match starter and can anchor the back line for years to come.

We get our first decent free agent signing

This is a solid addition, as he will be ready for regular playing time by mid season. Two other 66 rated young free agents are signed but they will likely be swapped during player acquisitions.

We then have a slew of players sold: Sikou Niakate $5.6 million to KRC Genk. Maxence Lacroix $8.5 million to Hamburg SV. Arnaud Kalimuendo $8.5 million to RSC Anderlecht. Nathan Wood $2.5 million to Fortuna Sittard. Connor McLennan $13.8 million Fenerbahce. Manu Kone $7.7 million to AZ. A further 12 reserve players are sold for a combined $21 million. When the smoke clears, and we adjust the transfer budget to the previously discussed 80%-20% split, FC Dallas has over $55 million available in the transfer budget at the start of the regular season, that’s after the Saliba purchase!

England Championship Regular Season

FC Dallas begins English Championship play and gets off to a strong start with a 2-0 win over Barnsley. The campaign starts strong as FC Dallas ends the first month of league play with four wins and two draws, which is good for 2nd place on the league table, two points behind Norwich.

UEFA Europa League Qualifiers

FC Dallas vs. Derry City, 1st Leg

FC Dallas starts their best line up at Derry City (Republic of Ireland top flight) and quickly takes command

This would be the first of two goals for Jesus Ferreira, as FCD would cruise to a 4-0 win. The 2nd Leg in Frisco would be a cake walk as FCD would coast to a 3-0 win, and advanced to the second round of qualifiers with an aggregate 7-0 series win over Derry City.

FC Dallas vs. Hearts, 1st Leg

FC Dallas travels to Hearts FC (Scottish Premiership) and Robert Bozenik requested a start, so Ferreira is on the bench to begin this match. Bozenik quickly makes FC Dallas look good, taking complete command of the match within minutes:

Bozenik nets a hat trick inside of 20 minutes and is sent to the bench immediately after. Jesus Ferreira replaces Bozenik and Chuy finishes the match with a brace, as FC Dallas nets a 5-0 win.

Tips & Tricks #3: Once a player scores a hat trick, his 10.0 rating is locked in and will not change during the remainder of the match, even if the player is benched. So you should always give some reserve player match minutes, by benching your hat trick hero. That is unless you are looking to pad his stats.

The 2nd leg isn’t as pretty but FC Dallas gets a 2-0 win at home. The win sees FC Dallas win the series and advance to the UEFA Europa League Group Stage by a 7-0 aggregate score.

End of the Summer Transfer Window

With the transfer window coming to an end, and over $55 million to spend, it’s time to upgrade the roster.

Our first addition is a sneaky good buy, as it looks like FCD has over spent on the player. Paying $6.5 million + 5% + FA Player.

Moreno Tallon will become our lock down specialist. His pace and attacking/defensive work rate means that he will be tasked with entering matches late, when we are trying to preserve a one goal lead. He will specifically replace a full back, namely the one that is most fatigued. Which means this kid is in for a ton of minutes and will very likely grow to be our 3rd best defender (behind Saliba and Cannon) by the end of the season.

Tips & Tricks #4 & #5: Defenders with a medium or high attacking work rate, will venture forward aggressively, even when instructed to stay back during attacks. This is great when the match is up for grabs (fullbacks in particular), but not so great when you are trying to preserve a lead. For this reason, the best defenders have a low attacking work rate and a high defensive work rate.

It is strongly advised that your entire back line have a low attacking/high defensive work rate, if you are planning of playing a three center back formation, such as a 3-5-2. You want your back line to stay home instead of venturing forward and exposing your team to a counter attack. If you don’t mind your center backs venturing forward (in a three back formation), at least make sure you best defender is slotted in the center of the back line, and has a low attacking/high defensive work rate.

We continue to bolster our back line by adding Lautero Valenty for $7 million + 5% + FA Player. Valenty is a 74 rated center back and will rotate starts with Diakite.

We’re not done bolstering the back line, as we want a fullback capable of starting on both sides to rotate with both of our first team starters (Cannon and Ait Nouri). FC Dallas adds Pedro Pereira for $5.5 million + 10% + Laird. A steep price, but Periera will play a ton of minutes, mostly rotating starts with Ait Nouri.

FC Dallas next bolsters their attacking options by paying the $3.8 million release clause for Darwin Nunez. Darwin is a 74 rated striker, who has a market value of $9 million, and he agrees to a Rotation Contract.

FC Dallas still has $33 million left in the transfer budget, so it is time to add the second big time player to the line up

Eduardo Camavinga arrives for $18 million + Cristian Casseres Jr.

Camavinga will start at Defensive Mid but his high attacking work rate means he will be heavily involved in the attack. Camavinga surprisingly signs on an Important Player contract, for only a $9.8k weekly wage! This means our best midfielder is willing to rotate starts.

This leaves FC Dallas with $15 million in the transfer budget but we are done shopping and need to tidy up our roster player wages.

Player Contracts

Any player that is on a Crucial or Important Contract will have his contract renegotiated. The reason for this is that having a wide disparity in pay between players on the same kind of contract will lead to huge morale swings and constant emails from unhappy players. You want to make sure that only Crucial Contract players are earning the biggest wages. You also want to make sure that all of your players on Important Contracts, have similar paying contracts that only vary by a couple thousand dollars. This is what the team finances look like at the top of the roster when all is said an done:

William Saliba is the only player on a Crucial Contract. All of the players on Important Contracts make anywhere between $9k or $16k, with some of our newest signings at the low end of that scale. Edwin Cerrillo actually agreed to a lesser contract, going from an Important Player contract to a Rotation Player Contract. In fact, there are no players with an Important Contract, with a rating below 74.

After all the contracts are renegotiated, FC Dallas has a remaining transfer budget of $10 million.

Roster Breakdown

We will be rotating starting line ups again. The best line up will be called the Tournament Team, and the 2nd best line up will be our Championship Team.

Tournament Team

Championship Team

Notice that Gonzalez, Saliba, and Cannon are all listed on both teams, this is because they are the players that will get the most starts for FC Dallas, with all three only requiring an occasional spell.

The Tournament Team will have the following priorities:

  • UEFA Europa League
  • FA Cup
  • English Championship

The reason for this is that the top two priorities will generate a ton of prize money, which will significantly increase the team transfer budget for next season. It should also be pointed out that FC Dallas can again qualify for UEFA Europa League next season by winning either of the top two objectives (winning UEFA Europa League also qualifies FCD for Champions League!)

The Championship Team will play the bulk of the regular season matches, and for this reason, FC Dallas can be expected to struggle in league play well into mid season. The Championship Team needs to keep FC Dallas within the promotion zone until the young players improve to the point that they help the team make a late season run for the league title.

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 Season 3: Episode 2 UEFA Europa League Group Stage