Welcome to Season 2: Episode 2 of the FC Dallas FIFA 20 play through.
In Episode 1, we covered FC Dallas’s run through preseason, and the start of the League One regular season. We also finalized the roster that would see us through to mid season.
This episode, we delve right into the meat of League One play, and see action in 3 other tournaments. We will also finalize the roster that will carry us to the end of the 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 come.
League One Dominance
FC Dallas starts September red hot, only to lose the final match of the month 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers. The loss drops FC Dallas to 2nd place on the table, just two points behind the leader as we finish the month with a 9-1-1 record.
FC Dallas would then go on a 16 match unbeaten streak (14-2-0) in the next three months, that sees the team end the month of December a full 10 points ahead of the 2nd place team. The run is so dominant that it’s time to seriously start considering skipping matches.
Tips & Tricks #1 & 2: If you skip too many matches, it will greatly affect overall team morale. The morale will drop quickly and suddenly you will start receiving emails from bench players demanding to start or even starters demanding for much more playing time. You are also more likely to lose players to injuries and you will see an increase in yellow cards. You will also see an increase in red cards. So skipping should not be done lightly.
If you intend to skip matches, then I recommend no more than two matches in a row, unless you get a prematch press conference. In which case you can skip one or two more before your team morale drops too far. You need those post match press conferences to boost the overall team morale and you only get those after you play a match. You should also skip home matches over away matches for best results.
Carabao Cup Run
In the first month of the regular season FCD won two Carabao Cup matches, 3-0 against Sheffield United and 4-0 against Plymouth Argyle. We start out September (month two) with a crushing 7-0 win over Doncaster that saw Josh Sargent score a goal, get an assist, and force an own goal before half time. This sets up a Round of 16 match against our first Premier League opponent.
We catch a big break, as our EPL opponent is Crystal Palace who enters the match on a 10 match winless streak. Crystal Palace also arrives with an anemic attack that has only scored five goals and a defense that has given up almost 30 goals in those 10 matches. FC Dallas wins 2-0 behind a Jesus Ferreira brace.
Tips & Tricks #3: When playing against a superior team in tournament play, it is best to sit deep on defense and look to spring a counter. You must contest the midfield, as more talented teams will dominate possession and the more they have the ball, the more likely they are to break down your defense. You must also have pacey fullbacks that can keep up with the dangerous wingers on counter attacks.
FC Dallas meets Manchester United in the quarterfinals. Sargent scores a goal just 20 minutes in that allows us to fall into a completely defensive shell and weather the storm for a 1-0 victory.
In the semifinals, we travel to Chelsea for Leg 1. In a stunning all around performance, FC Dallas keeps 50% ball possession and limits Chelsea to a total of two shot attempts. The defense was keyed by Bryan Acosta, who started the match as the lone deep defensive midfielder. Sargent had a goal and an assist in the 2-0 win. This was, for some reason, a really weak Chelsea line up and likely the result of a well known issue with FIFA.
Tips & Tricks #4: There is a well known issue with FIFA that sees the A.I. start a completely random line up and one that is far from the strongest possible line up available for that team. It was actually normal to see this issue on a regular basis when FIFA 20 was first released. This issue has since been patched but it does still appear from time to time.
FC Dallas hosts Chelsea for Leg 2 in January, deep into the transfer window. We go into a defensive shell right out of the gates and catch Chelsea on a counter to win the match 1-0, winning the series by an aggregate 3-0 score.
Chelsea absolutely dominated the match, holding 65% of the possession, and out shooting FCD by a four to one margin. Jesse Gonzalez saved us time after time and we are headed to the Carabao Cup Final in Episode 3, against...
Tips & Tricks #5: Winning the Carabao Cup with a non EPL team will earn you a spot in the EUROPA Euro League Qualifiers for the following season. This is usually three knockout matches that are two legged affairs, which if won will earn you a spot in the Group Stage.
Note: It is possible that FC Dallas has already qualified for participation in the EUROPA Euro League Qualifiers. When a team makes it the Carabao Cup Final and the opponent has (or will) already qualified for EUROPA Euro League or Champions League, then the team that has yet to qualify (FC Dallas) will earn the invite even if they fail to win the Carabao Cup Final.
Other Tournament runs
FC Dallas is just killing it in tournament play, winning the first three round matches in the Leasing.com Trophy by a combined 9-2 score.
We also begin play in the FA Cup defeating Tranmere Rovers 4-0. FC Dallas then nearly gets knocked out in the 2nd round of the FA Cup. The 2nd round match took place just two days after the first leg match against Chelsea. Playing with our secondary line up (our League One Team), FCD found itself going into half time down 2-0 to Charlton Athletic (England Championship). With the team still down 2-0 going into the final 30 minutes, Rekeem Harper, who started three days earlier against Chelsea comes off the bench. Harper simply took over the match by scoring two goals to force extra time. Then in extra time, Harper had an assist on the winning goal as FCD escaped Charlton Athletic with a 3-2 victory.
The 3rd round FA Cup match was also scheduled several days after the Chelsea match (2nd Leg match), and a late Tanner Tessman goal allowed FC Dallas to escape Preston North End (England Championship) with a 1-1 draw. The draw at Preston North End means that FC Dallas will host the deciding match after the conclusion of the Summer Transfer Window.
FC Dallas enters the Transfer Window with a transfer budget of $12 million. The game plan is to buy the best available players we can find, that have a release clause well below their listed value. Before we do that, we first have to clear some room on the roster.
The team has reached January with five players who have a 75+ rating and we want to send any players with a rating above 75 on loan. Sargent just joined the team several months ago and is not eligible to go on loan. Both of the teams right backs are at a 75+ rating, so one of them gets to stay, and Reggie Cannon will be the player sticking around.
Paxton Pomykal, who was leading League One with nine assists, gets loaned to RB Salzburg. Jesus Ferreira, who was leading League One with 17 goals scored, gets loaned out to Norwich. Nathan Ferguson, who was our primary back up at both full back spots, gets loaned to Brighton Hove Albion.
We say goodbye to three FC Dallas original players. Francis Atuahene gets sold to Goungzhou RF for $630k. Bryan Acosta is sold to Brighton Hove Albion for $5 million. Santiago Mosquera is sold to Tigres UANL for $4.8 million. FC Dallas also sells two youth players for a combined $2.5 million. After the owners take their cut of the transfer sales, the team has a $19+ million Transfer Budget.
With our primary backup at both full back spots gone, the team needs to add one young right back to the roster. We can’t find a good release clause deal, so we shell out $3.1 million to Manchester United for Ethan Laird. Our new right back is a 19 year old, with a 70 rating, and an 85 pace.
Our two best midfielders are no longer on the team (Paxton/loan, Acosta/sold), so some midfield depth is needed. We dip into the MLS pool and pay the $3.8 million release clause on Cristian Casseres Jr. of the New York Red Bulls. Cristian is a 20 year old D-mid, with a 72 rating and a market value of $5 million.
We loaned out our leading scorer (Ferreira), so we need to add a striker who can give Josh Sargent a spell from time to time. We pay the $3.55 million release clause for Robert Bozenik of Feyenoord. Bozenik is a big physical striker, who is 20 years old, with a 73 rating, and a market value of $6.5 million. There were better strikers available (at a higher price), but Bozenik was willing to sign on for a Rotation Contract, which means he will be happy to be mostly a super sub this season and next season.
We sold Mosquera, so our next addition is a winger. We pay the $2.85 million release clause for Noni Madueke of PSV. Noni is a 19 year old right winger, with a 72 rating, that includes amazing pace and dribbling skills. Noni has a market value of $6.5 million.
We have just north of $6 million left in the transfer budget. We added a midfielder earlier, but we need to add another one. The team needs to add a stud midfielder, with 80+ stamina, and 80+ pace. We pay the $5.4 million buyout for Jhon Arias of America De Cali. Arias ($9 million market value) is a 23 year old, 74 rating midfielder, with 81 stamina, 88 pace, and his 87 balance means he will likely grow 2 to 3 rating points by the end of the year. We finish the summer transfer window with a total of $972k in our budget, this includes the wage budget. The remaining budget money is ideal, and should be just enough to cover some minor expenses that will hit us at the end of the year.
As the month of January comes to an end, FC Dallas sits in 1st place on the League One Table, 11 points clear of the second place team....with three games in hand.
Here is a look at the team that will try to win the Carabao Cup and will crush all League One opponents on the way to the league title.
Keep in mind that we have three players with a 75+ rating, out on loan. This team will dominate possession, and can score from anywhere.
League One Team
As you can see, there will be very little drop off when we rotate line ups. This team is so deep, that we have some really good players in the substitute pool. By the time next season rolls around, we’ll have a team that can win the English Championship...before we even add reinforcements.
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 3