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I have not played my Burton save for a few weeks and when I did start to play it again but I felt bored by it however I have not deleted it so I may go back to it in the future. I was looking at the previous saves I have done over 3 FM games to see which ones had my enjoyment about which were Wigan and Southampton on FM12, LA Galaxy on FM14 and Everton on FM15 but I decided that the Seattle Save I did has my first save on FM 15 was good but I did a lot early which meant I did not enjoy as much. This time around I am build a squad slowly and aim to win domestic trophies in a season or 2 then move on to trying to win the CONCACAF Champions League and Club World Cup in a few seasons then start to dominate the competitions while bringing through young players from the Academy. There are several reasons why I chose Seattle Sounder; 1. The 60,000 seater Century Link Stadium, 2. The fans, they have broken attendance records for the club a few times since 2009 also the capacity when from around 30,000 to 60,000 has the board felt in 2009 that the club would attract around 12,000 season tickets holders, 3. There is room for improvement in the recruitment and training of youth team players which was also one the reasons I wanted to do this, 4. The youth team training ground can be improved, 5. I can rebuild the squad in 2015 when a lot of older players will be leaving which means there will be spaces for youth team players from the Academy. 6. The MLS is a fun, challenging and unique league to play in has there is no other league like it.

Best Players

Brad Evans, Club Captain
His versatility is very important to me has he is the club’s best right back despite his best position is right and central midfield.

Chad Marshall
The best centre back at the club. I have the feeling his going to be on the score sheet a few times with his aerial ability so I will look to make sure our set pieces are good.

Clint Dempsey
The most decorated player in US football. The fans and I are hoping that he can bring the same form and class he had at Fulham and Tottenham, I expect him to be scoring around 15goals and at least 15 assists.

Obafemi Martinns
He should be scoring at least 20 goals a season for the next 3 seasons. He is already attracting interest from Ajax and Swansea has I am starting this save in January 2014 so I can have a full season in the MLS.

The results really did not matter has I was trying to get the players use to my tactics and 3 different formations which will be used at some point during the season.There were a couple of players that proved themselves and when I have to select the roster for the season they are now in consideration.

The 3 formations are:

This is my main formation for the season. I will be using 2 defensive midfielders in of the back four which will offer more protection to the defence and allows the front four to do their thing knowing that there is a good defensive unit behind them.

This is my secondary formation for when I don’t have my wingers available or when I need rotate the squad.

My third formation is based on having 3 at the back has I have only one left at the club so having a third formation with 3 at back makes sense. I have some quality young centre backs in the Academy so this formation might become my main or secondary formation.

During this preseason I had a couple of players on trail and I signed one of them along with another one which is rather interesting as well as being a first on the FM saves I have done with LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders.

Dante Tapparello, Free Transfer
He has the potential to be a star of the MLS and he is the first player I signed via an agent message in the inbox. I do not have a decent young striker in the club and I have 2 strikers in their late 20’s and early 30’s. The good thing about his contract apart from the £500 per week wage is that there is no loyalty bonus, % annual wage increase, agents fees and other bonus’.

Oguchi Onyewu, Free Transfer via Allocation
Every so often through out the season the the MLS holds a lottery for players that don’t have clubs where the lowest ranked club from the previous year that has entered the lottery gets the player. Since Seattle Sounders were the only club that entered means the club gets Onyewu however I don’t get the chance to negotiate the contract.

I am happy to have him for the next 2 seasons has he already improved the defence. His signing allows to develop the young centre backs at the Academy into players ready for first team football in 2 seasons. I expect him and Marshall to dominate the aerial battles at both ends of the of the pitch and to be on the score sheet like Marshall.


A week or so before the first game of the season each club has to submit their roster to the league and any player that is not injured who is not selected are waivered and put in the March Waivers Draft. I selected those players has they had 12months remaining on their contracts and were not good enough for I what I am trying to do with the club. Neagle amd Barrett were drafted by Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire respectively. The others remain without a club but able to sign other clubs.
I went with a 3-4-1-2 formation has I left this would give the players the best possible chance of winning with the players available. I feel the players can play in a formation with 3 at the back but it is going to take time for the player to get use to it and to find the right back 3 formation. I felt that we should have won this match but that is football where team can have 45 attempts at goal with 16 on target gets draws against a team who at 11 shots at goal with 7 on target.

We had players in midfield and defence out injured from February to August overlapping each other which I meant had to keep changing formations and players especially when I had US Open Cup games in midweek. The constant changing of the formations and players meant the players are not getting familiar with them despite that I am happy with the overall performance and results which would have been better if I had my strongest team available playing in the main formation 4-2-3-1. I was hoping that Tapparello would have scored a few goals by now but I still have faith in him to fulfil his potential to be MLS star has he needs time to develop. Alonso, Dempsey and Martins are leading the team towards a potential trophy winning season has the club looks for its first MLS Cup since the club joined in 2009. I am really hoping that the team can find more consistency and higher performance levels for the rest of the season.

The club is in a good position to secure a place in the Conference Semi Finals. If San Jose can win their 3/4games in-hand and results going in their favour could see San Jose getting a Playoff place for the 4th Semi Final place. Both Conferences are looking to be very close however Sporting Kanas City are looking like they will pull away from the rest of the Eastern Conference.

FC Dallas could find themselves in 4th place if the other teams behind them win their games in-hand. The club could open a significant lead if the games in-hand are won and the rest drop points.LA Galaxy could rapidly climb the table if they can turn things around and win their games in-hand plus they have a very good squad.

The club has pretty much been near the top since game 4/5 after dropping to 8 after 8games. Chicago went from 18th to 7th after 3games then to 2nd after another 2games but dropped to 10th after another 7games then they stayed around there since just shows that a good or bad run of results had have a huge impact on your placing in the tables. Montreal have improved after game 4 they went from 18th to 14th then upto 5th after 16games. If Montreal can keep that kind of form going then they could challenge for the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.

Houston, Portland and DC United are going to fight to avoid having 1st pick in the 2015 Superdraft which is a sign that they are underachieving given that their squads are considered to be one of the best in the league. San Jose have finally got going and if this was European football then Mark Watson would be sacked by now along with Dominic Kinnear, Caleb Porter and Ben Olsen.

I decided to put Paresmain on the Season Ending Injury List has I do not think he will be back to full fitness by the end of the season and this would allow him time to get back to fitness for next season. He can concentrate on his physiotherapy without having the pressure of having to get fit for some important matches which would be beneficial to him. He has been missed so far this season has Tapparello so far has not scored the goals I was hoping he would get by now. Parsemain would have been by 2nd choice striker this season and my main striker if Martins is sold before the 31st of August.

US Open Cup

Preliminary Round

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round
I went with 3-4-3 formation and my back up players to give them game time. Lowe was the only one to impress but he is my 5th choice central defender but might get some league games towards the end of the season has I have started to think about who is going to be in the squad next season.
There are a few shocks has a few MLS sides were beaten by clubs outside the MLS. U23 sides can be recognised as separate teams but affiliated to their parent club so they can face each other which is what happened here.


4th Round & Quarter Final
This time I went with 3-3-4 has I continue to look for a 3 at the back formation that is going to work with the players I am thinking of having next season. Traore and Alonso were great but I need the others to do better. There are a few players that have contracts beyond this season who might be waivered after the season has finished.

I went with 4-3-3 with the players that were fit to play has the team have been playing a game on Saturday/Sunday then on Wednesday for the past few weeks which means some players are getting tired therefore lacking some sharpness which could be present when they are fresh. Kenny Cooper was great and done well in games even when he is played on the ring wing which is not his natural position.

I would have loved it if Carolina Railhawks had made to the Semi Final. We are 2 games away from potentially a 4th US Open Cup trophy which is good for a club that has been in the MLS since 2009.

I am scouting players in various positions for next season now has I am at who is staying and leaving. Next season I will using the reserve slots that are available to have the best young players from the academy so that I have the full £38k to use on players but I am going to loan out some of them so they can get game time.
Going well! Hopefully you can keep it up.
My Careers:
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Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
New Players

Eduardo Leguiza, Free Transfer
He is on a reserve contract which means his wages are no included in the Salary Cap but he does take up one of three remaining International slots on the roster. He has the potential to be a good striker for the club. I might loan him out next season depending on who is staying and leaving the club.

Jose Correa, Free Transfer
He is on the same type of contract has Leguiza and takes one of the remaining International slots on the roster. Another young striker that has the potential to be a decent player for the club. I have 3 young strikers that can replace replace Martins and Cooper when they do leave the club for one reason or another.


I do hope the club can increase the allocation from 38,000 to around 50,000 for next season. This the game without the influential Dempsey in the line up and I think the players did well but the question is can they do this on a regular basis until his return.

Tapparello has scored his second league of the season and his 3rd in all competitions. I hope this has given him an increase in confidence to go on to score a few more while Martins is out injured and show that he can become the main striker for the club for many seasons. This was my second choice starting line up due to having the Semi Final of the US Open Cup mid week which went to penalties and the players did not have enough to recover for this important game. It is telling how influential Dempsey and Martins are on the players that play alongside them. It is good to see Azira to be playing after his injury even it was for 45minutes.

Houston is the first game without Martins, who is out injured again this time for a month or so, and it showed how much of a difference he makes when he plays. Tapparello scored his first league goal against Houston and I hope he can score a few more before Martins comes back from injury. It is good that other players are chipping in with goals in the absence of Dempsey and Martins.

It appears that the Western Conference is stronger than the Eastern Conference this season but that might change due to the introduction of NY City FC and Orlando City. Chivas USA appear to be giving the fans of the club one last chance of success this season before the club is dissolved in December.

There are 10 games lest and plenty to play for over these games. I hope to have Martins back from injury during these games and that he can be the difference between the club having a good season and a trophy winning season. I would like to see around 45,000 at the games to show that the club deserve to have a bigger allocation of the 67,000 seats and also the club could on verge of making history.

This could not have happened at a better time has I need all my players to be available. I think this should be introduce into every league around the world and I like how it can only happen once per season per player.

The Return of Parsemain
He is not yet back to match fitness yet but he is at least recovered from his injury. I am hoping he is available for the US Open Cup matches has he is still on the Season Ending List has I was told by my head physio that he would be out for 6months. If I had known that he would be back after 5months I would not have put him on the Season Ending List so he would be available for the remaining games at least from the bench to start with before starting a game if he can show that he is fully over his injury with a few goals.
I have made no set plans for the squad next season has the players I want to get rid of, keep and bring in keep changing. I have only a few days left on the Summer Transfer left in which European clubs can bid for Martins but after August I will have him until at least 1st of January when the Winter Transfer Window opens.

I did not want to sell but £3m for Alonso is too good to turn down also he wanted to see if he can play in Europe. This transfer led to Dempsey stating that he is not happy about the size of the squad which my response was that I will be looking at adding to the squad. The transfer window that allows clubs to sign players domestically and from outside the States is closed until February 2015.

It is best to get the money upfront without any monthly payments or add ons has the MLS will take a cut of the fee. Players can be traded for Draft Picks and International Slots.

I am now considering using a back 3 for next has I will not be renewing Gonzalez’s contract and the players are starting to get understanding their roles in the formation. Leguiza’s debut could only be better by scoring a hat trick.

One thing that is clear to me that the defence needs to be better next season especially when we are playing in the CONCACAF Champions League. The likes of Trapperallo, Correa, Leguiz and Zavaleta, who is on loan at Chivas USA, will need to step up next season has there will be changes to the squad after the MLS Cup and I will not know the final squad until I need to select players for the season in February. I had a crisis of player dissatisfaction due to not signing new players after selling Alonso which is not possible due to the fact the people I want to sign are either under contract until after Christmas or June 2015 plus the foreign and domestic transfer window is closed but I told them things will change. The disharmony did not affect the results and the form some of the players.

There were some big clubs that have underperformed this season. The club is now the favourite to win the MLS Cup but there are a couple of decent teams in the Playoffs.

This used for the order of the draft picks but a team can have 2 picks in the same around if they have been given a pick from another team for either a future draft pick, allocation money or player. The Supporters Shield is given to the team with the best overall record as well as determines places for the CONCACAF Champions League places. It will be interesting to see what happens to Chivas USA’s place in the competition when the clubs ceases to exist after the MLS Cup.

These teams play for the 4th spot in the Playoffs has they finished 4th and 5th in their respective Conferences. Chivas USA are giving their fans something to remember when their club ceases to exist.

Montreal Impact made it to the MLS Cup final even though Sporting Kanas City were the best team in the conference.

The club drew the first game 1-1 at the Hub Centre Stadium but we got the vital away goal. I managed to field strongest XI which I have not been able to do on a regular basis throughout the season for one season or another.

Real Salt Lake defeated FC Dallas in the other Semi Final match. We won the first game 2-1 thanks to a Dempsey goal and a Bachers own goal. This the best the players have played all season where every player got a rating over 7. We should have scored more goals and Real Salt Lake deserved not to be in the MLS Cup if they had made it through with that performance. These 2 home games in the Playoffs got crowds of over 60k just show that the club could sell out every game next season which would mean a big increase in revenue next season.

That is a perfect start for us which allowed the players to settle down and into their rhythm. The club deserved to be MLS Champions after the season the club has had. This is the last that most of the players will play for the club and have ended their their time at the club with MLS winners medal which for the majority the players is their first MLS winners medal.

US Open Cup
This was the first time this season that the CenturyLink Field was sold out. I hope the club can do it on a regular basis next season and maybe one day have it’s own stadium. This is the fourth time the club has won the US Open Cup since joining the MLS in 2009. This is the only game for Parsemain will play this season and he showed that he can be asset for the team however he has to prove during preseason that he is better than Trapparello, Correa and Leguiza. It was a close game but our quality upfront was better than Coloardo Rapids.

I was not surprised that he has retired since he has not played not that many games this season. Mahnemann’s retirement has left with only 1 keeper at the club at the moment but I have someone lined up. Traore also retired which was a bit of surprise has he is 33 and has at least another 2 or season before he should thinking of retire especially he has played 27 games in all competitions. If I offered him an extension he would be playing fewer games next season has Zavaleta will be returning to the club from being on loan at Chivas USA.


I did not take part in the Re-Entry and Dispersal Drafts has my assistant and myself agreed there were not any players that were good enough for the club.

The expansion draft is for clubs that are joining the MLS and they have a big pool of players to pick from. I had to select 11 players that will be protected from the draft which includes 5 International players. I could not watch the draft has I was hoping that Cooper was not going to get a drafted by either Orlando City and New York City FC. I have two choices now either sign a right winger or convert Leguiza to be a right winger.

New Players

Andre Hansen, Free Transfer from Odd
He is going to challenge Frei for the keepers spot and has the potential to be star in the MLS. If he does well in the 2015 Season then it is going to be hard for me to keep him at the club in the summer and January 2016 but I am hoping what I did with Martins works on him as well. He is arriving on the 17th of February 2015.

Elliot Stoltz, Superdraft Boston Rams
I will be looking at converting him into a left back has I could not find a suitable left back and have not young player at the club that has the potential to be a good left back. He played 34 games for the Rams and I expect him to play the same number of games in 2015 Season if not more.

Ian Reyes, Superdraft Jersey Express
I have now a nice collection of strikers who bring something to the side. Ian Reyes one day will not only be leading the attack but also be the captain of the club. He has a lot of work to do to be a good player for the club.

Isasiah Osbourne, Free Transfer
He has been without a club for some time after his release from Blackpool in the summer. He is needed in order for me to rebuild the midfield after the departures of Alonso, Pineda, Rose and Bowen. He is the sort of midfielder I needed for the likes of Pappa, Martins, Leguiza and Dempsey to do what they do. He is arriving on the 17th of February 2015.

Jared Jeffrey, Free Transfer
He is in the squad to add cover in case of injuries and suspensions.

Zarek Valentin, £210k from Bode/Glimt
The fee is £100k upfront with £100k over 12months but this is only costing me £155k of my transfer allocation. I needed a right after selling Alonso, Pineda and Rose got drafted in the Expansion Draft which meant Evans moving to his natural position of centre midfield.

I signed 8 players from the Academy side on Reserve Team Contracts. I am looking at loaning some of these players out to give them some game time and keep my squad selection in line with the restrictions without having to waiver many of these young players. Their ratings in the Academy were 3 to 4.5 star but dropped when moved to the senior side due to the quality of the players already in the senior side however these star ratings can change when players leave.

The aim for the 2015 Season is to be competitive in the CONACAF Champions League and try to defend the Trophies we won this season which is going to be tough due to the number of player changes and potential change in formation.

The next post will review the 2014 season covering the club’s finances, tactics etc.
The mighty Chivas USA! They're sorely missed!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b
Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
Player Stats
The defensive unit needs to be improved has the club will be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League. Pappa, Cooper and Dempsey were great support for my forwards with their goals and assists as well as averaging a rating between 7 and 8. I need Long, Lowe, Tapperallo, Kovar, Leguiza and Correato be performing a lot better in 2015 has their squad has been dismantled for various reasons. The players that have left did not perform to a level that I wanted or were too inconsistent with their performances apart from Cooper who was great due to playing out of position on the right wing.

The players were consistent in their scoring but it seems that they like to score early then build on it rather than chase the game. I wonder if the players fatigue and lose their concentration towards the end of the game which leads to teams scoring goals late on. I hope by having a younger team that this will not happen much in the coming season especially in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The players seem to preferred to be accurate and place their shots rather than hit and hope despite having instructions to shoot on sight. The goals are coming from central areas with the wide players cutting in and Dempsey with the free kicks also Martins and Trapperallo putting the ball away from the chances created by the team. We concede goals from within our area which means I either need to inject pace into the defence, improve their defensive positioning or both in preseason.

The players are creating goals by passing even from wide positions and within our own half. Pappa provide just under half the assists down the wide positions. The left is our biggest threat going forward also our biggest weakness which will need addressing in preseason and throughout next season either by getting a left back or using 3 central defenders.

The 4-2-3-1 formation was frequently used has I had the players to make it work and it was familiar to the players by the end of the season. The 4-2-3-1 becomes 4-3-3 wide when Dempsey is not playing which seems to give a bit more protection to the defence with the extra central midfielder. I think the players can play in a 3 back formation which I will be using during preseason which is why it did not work as well as I hoped during the season.

There seems to be a lot of variation in formations used by managers in the MLS which makes for an interesting league where some leagues have managers using the same formations and style. It appears that if a team have 5 at the back will do well against my attackers.

The club is pretty much self sufficient and does not need the backing of a wealthy owner or a big sponsor. Only £560k spent on travel despite the USA being a very big country and at times the club goes from end of the country to the other which is less than some Premier League or Championship clubs spend. I am expecting to increases in spending as well as revenue if the club are able to use the entire 67,000 seats for every home game. The TV money came from the US Open Cup but the club gets around £2m from the MLS for the TV rights for the 2015 season.

Toronto FC has the highest wage bill in the MLS which does not guarantee them success while Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas are amongst the lowest yet managed to have good season. The spending on average is on the same level as League 1 clubs in England and it means that clubs are not likely to stretch them beyond their resources.

League Stats
We have one of the biggest grounds while New England have their stadium capacity capped to 20,000 for league games. It is no surprise to see Chivas USA at the bottom despite having a good season however off the field issues had an impact on the fans turning up due to them being disbanded.

The clubs at the top of this chart have much smaller capacities than us which despite selling out the allotted seats means that we were always going to be 60% full but there were a few games which showed that we can fill the ground. It is easier to sell out San Jose’s ground than it is to do so with CenturyLink Field but I would like to see the club have it’s own purpose built ground even it means that the new ground starts of at 45,000 before increasing to over 60,000 over the years.

Next season will see the introduction of New York City FC and Orlando City to the Eastern Conference with Houston moving to the Western Conference also every team plays each team twice meaning an increase of 4 games.
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