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FIFA 2020: FC Dallas begins play in England’s League One

We begin our run through League One of the English Pyramid. Welcome to Season 2, Episode 1!

Welcome to Season 2: Episode 1 of the FC Dallas FIFA 20 play through.

In Episodes 1 through 6, we covered FC Dallas’s run through the League Two of the English Pyramid. We now begin our run through League One of the English Pyramid.

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.

Season 2 Preparations

At the end of Episode 6, we listed the entire roster and we set new standards for our scouts to follow. As we begin our preseason preparations before the start of League One, it is time to enforce those standards on the entire roster. Here is a look at the minimum standards we are setting:

16 years - 62 rating
17 years - 65 rating
18 years - 68 rating
19 years - 69 rating
20 years - 70 rating
21 years - 71 rating
22 years - 72 rating
23 years - 73 ratings

We currently have 46 players on the roster, and a full half of the roster does not meet our new standards.

Tips & Tricks #1: Every time your team earns a promotion to a higher level league, you must raise your roster and recruiting standards to be able to meet the tougher challenges that lie ahead.

This season, any player at or above a rating of 75 will be sent out on loan. If we have two players with a 75+ rating who play the same position, then only one of those players will be sent on loan. At the start of the season, only Micheal Barrios has a 75+ rating, and he is made available to go out on loan.

This season’s managerial objectives are identical to last season and should be easily met. Our starting transfer budget is $20 million.

Our roster will be far too crowded with talented players this season, and unlike last season, we crave match congestion to satisfy all the minutes our young players will demand. It is for this reason that our game plan for this season, is to have two distinct starting line ups. The first line up will consist of our best 11 players, and will be named the Tournament Team. This line up will be tasked with starting every tournament match, at the expense of League One matches. We only participated in seven total tournament matches last season and we aim to more than double that number. Yes, they will play League One matches, but they will not start any League One match scheduled right before a tournament match.

The second line up will consist of our starting GK (Gonzalez) and the next 10 best field players, plus the seven best remaining reserve players. This second line up will be named the League One team. and their first priority will be to play all League One matches, along with playing any Trophy matches against over matched foes (League Two teams). Yes, the Tournament Team and the League One Team will rotate starts, but we will make sure that adjustments are made to insure the Tournament Team can play every tournament match.

Last season we only had two good scouts (both nine star scouts) and that hampered our ability to find players for our roster. At the end of last season, we fired the three worst scouts. So our first order of business is to replace those scouts. We sign a 10 star scout ($4.5 million), an eight star scout ($2.5 million), and a six star scout ($282k). We spend a total of $7.1 million on scouts, bringing our budget down to $13 million.

Tips & Tricks #2: Six star scouts (3/3 stars, $282k) are the best value scouts in FIFA and a must buy for teams on a limited budget.

FC Dallas wins the Preseason Friendly Tournament and adds a further $5 Million to the transfer budget. During the tournament, the transfer offers start rolling in. The first transfer offer is an eye opener.

Cruzeiro wants Michael Barrios badly and makes a transfer offer that shows they mean business. Barrios is sold to Cruzeiro for $9.5 million, a full $2 million over his listed value.

Tips & Tricks #3: When you get a transfer offer for a player you were not planning on selling, don’t bother considering unless the interested team is willing to pay well above the players listed value. Get the max listed asking price suggested by your scouts, or tell them to f*** off.

Before we send Barrios off to his new team, we make our first splash signing of the season. We sign Rabbi Matondo for $7.4 million, he agrees to half the salary we were paying Barrios, and signs an Important Contract for five years.

Rabbi is a 72 rated 19-year old versatile winger with 93 pace, and he will likely hit a 75 rating by mid season.

The following players are promptly sold: Fafa Picault $1 million (Al Ahli), Maurer $375K (Cracovia), Roberts $690k (FC Valuri), Campos, the young GK that we grew 10+ points last season is sold for $5 million to Dusseldorf. Jannik Dehm who was our starting right back last season, is sold for $5.8 million to Besiktas. Hollingshead is sold to FC Juarez for $1.2 million. A further six players we added last season from the Youth Academy are sold for a combined $5.5 million.

Selling off Hollingshead means we have a starting hole at left back. We quickly address that with our next splash signing.

Rayan Ait Nouri signs from Angers SCO for $6 million + 5% + Nkosi Burgess. Nouri will be our starting left back for years to come and signed for a weekly salary of $7.7k over five season. We don’t have depth at left back, so we address that as well, with our next signing.

Arthur Zagre is signed from AS Monaco, for $1,7 million + 5%. Zagre is a young left back that should be pushing for starting minutes by the time the summer transfer window closes.

The Free Agent Markets turns out to be just as shallow as it was last season. Eight days in, we start getting the free agent player values. We auto sign the highest valued player

Dennis turns out to be a 66 rated attacking player, who has good overall stats. He does not meet our roster minimum standards but he will be given a pass until the summer transfer window rolls around. He will struggle to get playing time in the first half of the season.

Tips & Tricks #4: Scouts will give you a players market value and salary demands before their actual ratings are revealed. Depending on how good your scout is, this information will become available between six and 10 days. You should short list any free agent being scouted, so you can simply check your transfer shortlist for this information. You should auto sign any young free agent with a value of over $1 million. Best case scenario they will become a key addition. Worst case scenario they become transfer fodder in the summer transfer window.

We get our second stunning transfer offer of the season. Monterrey pays the buy out clause on Matt Hedges (not transfer listed). It is for a stunning $6.8 million, and well over double Matt’s listed market value. An offer that is too good to pass on, and we say good bye to our long time captain.

The start of the League One regular season sees FC Dallas storm out of the gates. Other than a shock 2-2 draw to Blackpool, the team wins all other matches in convincing fashion to end the month with a League One record of 5-1-0. The team also wins both of their Carabao Cup matches by a combined 7-0 score, advancing to the 3rd round against a likely Championship level opponent next month.

Last Day of the Transfer Window

This is what I call the magic hour. At the end of the day, in the final hour of the Transfer Window, we’re going to wheel and deal our ass off.

Before we get started, we renegotiate a fan favorite’s contract. Cobra agrees to a three year deal on a Sporadic Contract, and takes a 40% cut from his weekly pay. This will ensure that he will remain on the team for the remainder of this season as a super sub.

Tips & Tricks #5 & #6: The final 10 hours of the Transfer Window are treated by the game as if each hour was a day. So a transfer or loan deal that would normally take three to four days to get resolved, will only take three to four hours to resolve. This means you will receive two to three offers (tops) that will actually get resolved before time runs out.

You can save your game at the start of the day. You then skip forward three to four hours. If you do not receive a loan or transfer offer for one of the players you are looking to off load, then simply exit the game and reload to your previous save. Once you get an offer, save the game again. You repeat the process of skipping forward a couple of hours and reloading until you receive an offer. If you do it right, you will be able to off load five to six players from your roster, within those 10 hours.

The game plan for the final hour is simple, we are going to offload any player who does not meet our new team minimum standards. There is a catch in all of this. The catch is, that we will focus on only the best available 18 to 20 year old players, and mostly take players whose team will accept a player swap. We will mostly focus on making position for positions swaps, but sometimes we will take a player from a different position, thus causing a sort of domino effect on the roster.

Aaaaand aaaawaaaay weeeee go!

Joris Chotard (18 years, 71 rating) signs from Montpellier, for $3,1 million + Ryan Ravelson (23 years, 70 rating).

Koaadio Manu Kone (19 years, 69 rating) signs from Toulouse FC, for $1.1 million + Yoga Gadoy (23 years, 69 rating).

Bafode Diakite (19 years, 71 rating) signs from Toulouse FC for $3.6 million + Reece Burke (23 years, 71 rating).

Josh Sargent (20 years, 72 rating) signs from Werder Bremen, for $2.7 million + Bressan (28 years, 73 rating).

Sepp van den Berg (18 years, 69 rating) signs from Liverpool, for $2.15 million.

Arnaud Kalimuendo (18 years, 68 rating) signs from Paris FC for $2.4 million.

After all the smoke clears, FC Dallas has spent a total of $31 million this transfer window, and still has $12.3 million left in the Transfer Budget!

Here is the roster that will carry us into the mid season:

Tournament Team

Most of these players will grow one to two points by mid season, on a team loaded with tremendous speed at each position. This team will dominate at the League One level and should be able to make deep runs into the tournaments.

League One Team

Some of the Tournament Team players have amazing stamina, and will be capable of starting back to back matches on short rest (Ferreira, Cannon, Sargent, and both center backs). They will push some of the starting 11 on the League One Team to the bench at times, so this team should be absolutely dominant in League One. Most of the players on this team will grow two to three points by mid season.


The reserves will get some playing time in the Trophy, but mostly off the bench. Most of these players will be transfer listed or swapped come the summer transfer window if they do not meet the minimum roster standards by then.

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 2: Episode 2