8 years ago
2 hours ago

I had sat outside the chairman’s office, listening intently.

‘Him?’ I heard the bald guy that smells of helicopter fumes and 2 day old Chinese takeaway say

‘Si amigo, el tiron’.

The Yank.

That fucking Yank they’d end up saying. But that was a long way off, years away in fact. But here I was, a long way away from my home in Texas.

No one would give me a chance back home. Once they did their due diligence and looked into my somewhat questionable past, they all baulked at offering me anything in the way of employment on a coaching team.

Despite having taken some coaching courses and having experience at lower levels, I was shunned at every avenue in the States. I have no regrets with how my career, or lack thereof, had panned out.

I wasn’t much on the pitch. I lost more games than I won in my piss poor attempt at a career.

Getting no thanks or appreciation for years of playing amateur football across the country, as well as setting up the nets, training sessions even driving the god damn coach to games, I wasn’t given a second look. Thanks, but no thanks, you’re not what we’re looking for Mister Lloyd. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Rinse and repeat.

So what does a terrible player on the pitch and even worse person off of it do with no prospects of making it in the game he loves? The one reasonable thing someone in my position could do.

No, not that. Or the other one you’re thinking. Not yet at least.

I decided I had no future in the game, and I packed it all up and left. First to Monterrey across the border from my home in Corpus Christi. Then I went to Cancun and partied hard. Then somehow I had made my way south of the continent border to Bogota in Colombia then on to Santiago in Chile where my story begins anew.

But it wasn’t long before she pulled me into her embrace and wrapped her long legs and arms around me. She’d been calling me for a while. With those tempting eyes and the flirtatious tones of her voice. Like a first love you just can’t let go of, or a deranged ex you just give in to because she won’t shut the fuck up. I digress.

The call had come in last week. He spoke broken English to me, but soon spoke clearly in Spanish when he heard I’m fluent in the local dialect. Things moved fast, nearly as fast as my first time with a woman, but I didn’t feel as embarrassed this time as I did that time.

After attempting a coaching career that never got off the ground, I was now in a position to accomplish an idea I had conjured up in my head, an idea that came to me one afternoon in Chile. When it was all said and done, those in the Spanish speaking countries would call me El Salvador, the saviour.

The idea was that no matter what, the past isn’t to be forgotten. It’s there as a reminder of previous failures, and for those failures to be rectified. Redemption they call it.
But to find redemption you must go to the source of that which needs to be redeemed, and on that morning in Chile, I was at the first stop on my road to redemption.



It’s warm here. I thought Corpus Christi got warm sometimes but this heat, this is proper heat. This is you could fry an egg on the hood of a car heat.

I didn’t really have time to wonder how it came to be, me ending up here. But I was there now. In some city cum desert state called Calama. Northern Chile.

It might take a little while to call this place home or for the people here to recognise me when I walk down the street, but for now I’m still a nobody, not just here but in football in general.

No media are there when I walk into the stadium. No fans waiting outside to hear the news of the newest manager to try and fail to bring back the glory days of the 80’s to this club. Well, glory days might be a bit of an exaggeration, they’ve never actually achieved much glory of anything, but with time hopefully I can change that.

Before long I’m in what the club call the staff catering area, and I ask for a standard size bowl of salt and pepper to go with the extra large chip I have on my shoulder. The young waitress just giggles awkwardly at my request. You’ll understand some day flower, I’ll see to that.

She disappears and then reappears with a tray with 5 glasses of some liquid, champagne maybe? It tastes like warm piss but I down it along with the other 4. As I do 4 portly men are making their way over to me. ‘¿dónde se ha ido mi champan moza? one of the men asks, to which the girl just nods my way. 


I smiled back in the most awkward way possible. Try me fatso, I dare ya'


After speaking to me for what seemed hours, I decided that this bunch of men whilst a bit weird, have given me something those back home wouldn’t, and that was a chance.


A chance to prove people wrong, and a chance to earn redemption for this, and multiple other clubs.

8 years ago
2 hours ago

I take absolutely zero credit for the idea behind this save, I have added some 'extras' into it though. The idea came from some great reads from a user over on the SI Forums, and the guy that posted them wrote on his site, that I used to write on. He’s done the save multiple times in Europe and Africa, but not the Americas. That’s where I step in. So without further ado, let's get into it.


The Copa Libertadores is the South American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League and since it's inception the Libertadores has seen many winners from the South American teams, and more recently Mexican sides. It has also seen 18 teams get to the final but come up short.


The CONCACAF Champions League is the North American version of our Champions League, it used to be in a cup format before changing to mimic our own version and has been dominated by Mexican teams, with 10 teams getting to the final and leaving as the losing side. I am including some teams from the previous format of the CONCACAF Champions League for this challenge.


This thread is about those teams who have got to the final and ended up losing.


Housekeeping first. I'm only including some teams in the CONCACAF part of the challenge for a very specific reason. There have been teams in real life from Cuba, Curacao and Suriname that have got to the final but in game these countries don’t get a place in the Champions League from the off. The editor data files don’t include them and I imagine it will take a long time in game to raise the rep of these countries. Sorry Pinar Del Rio, Jong Colombia & Robinhood FC . Also, Honduran side Universidad are no longer a team, so aren't included


Likewise, in the COPA Libertadores, there have been some Mexican teams get to the final in real life and fail to win it. Mexican teams aren’t invited any more, however on long term FM saves I’ve had I have seen teams from Mexico appear in it. But for the sake of this challenge, Mexican teams aren’t included in this part.


At the start of the game (FM17), the following teams have got to the final of the Copa Libertadores and failed to win it:


América de Cali (1985, 1986, 1987, 1996)

Athlético Paranaense (2005)

Barcelona (1990, 1998)

Cobreloa (1981, 1982)

Deportivo Cali (1978, 1999)

Fluminense (2008)

Independiente del Valle (2016)

Nacional (2014)

Newell's Old Boys (1988, 1992)

Unión Española (1975)

Universidad Católica (1993)

Universitario (1972)

São Caetano (2002)

Sporting Cristal (1997)


Also at the start of the game, the below teams have got to the CONCACAF Champions League final and left as the losing team:


Atletico Marte (1981)

Club Leon (1993)

Montreal Impact (2015)

Morelia (2002, 2003)

Real Salt Lake (2011)

Santos Laguna (2012, 2013)


The aim for this save is to win the competition the above teams failed to win. If any of the above teams win the Libertadores or CONCACAF Champions League in the game, they are removed from the challenge.


Also, if any other team, as in not listed above gets to the final of any of the competitions and fails to win it, they become eligible.


I had intended to include the Copa Sudamericana (South American EUROPA League) as well, however that would bring the eligible teams at the start up to over 30, and no way I'd manage to get all those in.


As a 'bonus' challenge, in it's current format the CONCACAF Gold Cup (since 1991) has seen Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica & Panama got to the final only to lose.


Honduras 1991

Costa Rica 2002

Panama 2005

Jamaica 2015


If any other North American nation becomes eligible they will be included in the challenge as well. The South American equivalent the Copa America there are no eligible teams as all who had got to a final have also won it at some point. Ecuador & Venezuela haven't got to a final in real life, however if they do in game, they become eligible.


There are only 2 set in stone rules for this save I am sticking to. First is if I win the Libertadores or CONCACAF Champions League with a team, I must leave that team as they are removed from the challenge. I am allowing myself to leave a team at my own free will but ONLY to another eligible team or nation.


The second is that I don’t have to stay at a team until I win the competition needed. I can leave and come back. Of course getting sacked falls under this rule, however if I get sacked without winning something then I reckon I’ll struggle. But until that happens I won’t need to be concerned with it.


There are a total of 23 clubs and 4 nations eligible at the start of the game and I would expect some of those to win the competition in game and others to become eligible. I'll be as realistic as possible, I probably won't even manage all of these teams but I'll give it a good go.


1 last bit of housekeeping. I have all South American nations loaded with editor files, and a handful of North American nations. Sao Caetano start in the lower leagues of Brazil and would need a couple of promotions to be playable. I think they may be the team I might have trouble with managing but as above, until it becomes an issue I’ll leave it for now.


I will aim to get posts up at the very least once a week.


Join me on my journey for redemption.

8 years ago
2 hours ago

Every new beginning is some other new beginnings end

The journey to redemption starts in Chile, as already stated. In a city called Calama and the football club CD Cobreloa. The clubs had some success, 9 top division titles alongside a Chile FA Cup honor, this is a club with a decent history.





This club is eligible in the challenge due to finishing runners up in back to back years in the COPA Libertadores in 1981 & 1982, losing out to Brazilian side Flamengo and Uruguayan side Penarol respectively



Despite the media’s claim my side would finish mid table in 6th place, the building blocks are already there for us to make a serious challenge.  Club captain Arturo Sanhueza and main striker Lucas Simon look like 2 of my main players from the off



The fundamentals are already there and my new team hit the ground running, as they say. Apart from a draw and a loss in our fifth and sixth games, which I’ll put down to fatigue, we won our first four matches in convincing fashion

To compliment the foundations already here I brought in some back room staff to help me and non existent skills out. Canadian hero Rob Friend and American former MLS player Eric Brunner were the first of my new look back room staff to make the move




Those 2 were brought in primarily to work on technique and defence, as thinking long term we’re going to need to play smart on the defensive end. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, but in the short term we should be okay. Complimenting them and completing the trifecta of my backroom team, in comes Canada’s best ever (probably) player Dwayne De Rosario



With my back room team now consisting of former players with international experience, I can focus on getting the team up the league.


In Chile there are 2 stages to the second division, the opening and closing stages. It’s popular across South America and puts a lot of people off managing here. At the end of the season an average points system comes into play, based on the number of points gained per game over the previous seasons. So the onus really is to try and get promoted as soon as possible.


The boys really played their part in the opening stage, and by the end of the first 15 games had managed an incredible record of 9-2-3 as we sat atop the league at the half way point






8 years ago
2 hours ago

The right man in the right place can make all the difference



‘I don’t want to do it, I shouldn’t have to’ I protested.


You have to do it, you’re the manager’ Dwayne replied


I looked over and saw a snotty nosed kid wearing a vote for Pedro t shirt and a tie, he looked stupid and I said ‘He’s wearing a tie, make him do it’ but it was no good. I would have to face the media at some point in my career so now was probably the best time all things considered.


As I sat there in front of 5, possibly 6 reporters the words just came out. ‘They said I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t cut it.’


‘They said I’d never amount to nothing, and shunned my every advance. But to all those that said I wasn’t worth their time, f*ck you with a massive F!’


I was quickly ushered off the stage and told to work on my media skills.




As I’d pointed out already, the building blocks were already in place at Cobreloa before I took charge of my first game. But before we could really celebrate any success we had some rough terrain to navigate.


First bit of business that would secure us a position long term saw first choice keeper Ezequiel Cacace tell me he’s missing home. Dude, we’re in Chile, literally right next door to your home country of Argentina. And let’s be blunt, how different is Chile to Argentina? Or any Spanish speaking country from another for that matter? 



I try going in with the hard approach, telling my number keeper I’m not that bothered. Trips to the country next door aren’t going to be breaking the bank are they. He wasn’t convinced.



I didn’t even bother offering a leave of absence, I didn’t have time for these childish problems, you’re a grown man for god sake! I agree to sell him and it didn’t take long before I had his replacement lined up. Another Argentine, although I was assured this one had a pair of balls and wouldn’t miss home when he signed. He’s about the same as Cacace in terms of ability but is also 9 years younger, so you’d think he will improve.


I also had a dilemma on my hands in the form of left winger Jose Luis Silva, who had interest in him from a number of top division teams. At the time he’d managed 15 games, 14 of those were starts, and bagged an impressive 13 assists and 3 man of the match awards


But an offer to loan him for the final 6 months of the season came in from another eligible team, Universidad Catalica I accepted it. Silva also wanted to talk with them and I didn’t want a player problem on my hands this early. Plus, I felt we’d be going up to that division anyway so his stay there wouldn’t be long. I insisted on the recall option as well, just in case.


Back on the pitch we started the season by hitting the ground running and to be fair, we hardly, if ever, looked back. Some great performances and wins along the way, including bagging a 94th minute winner against Santiago Morning. I felt for them as there was only to be 3 minutes of added time, but we scored on 93:49 to give us the 3 points


Another good showing was when took all 3 points away at Puerto Montt. It as an even game until Sanhueza got a straight red part way through the second half. We switched things up and aimed to catch them on the counter, which we managed to and grab that goal and hold on


We did win the Primera B division and promotion with 2 games to spare though and to be blunt we never looked like not winning it, despite being seen as a mid table side




8 years ago
2 hours ago

The only way is up


Despite being on loan away from us for the second half of the season, Silva was awarded the player of year award. His 13 assists in 15 games was a league high

It won’t be easy to stay in the Primera division, and I thought it will take even longer to challenge for a spot in the COPA Libertadores, however our local rivals CD Cobresal have just been taken over. While being rivals the link between our clubs was cut but I didn’t even know we had an affiliation with them until the cut was announced  

Can our club get a takeover and lots of money please so we can challenge for trophies??? This takeover has put our local rivals right at the top of the list in terms of finances in Chile. You’d assume they’ll be a force to be reckoned with before long

The CONCACAF Champions League finished and saw CF Monterrey win it again, beating Tigres in the final

Tigres are already eligible but something struck me as surprising. CD Honduras got to the semi final stage after only losing 1 game in the competition, that being the second leg to eventual runners up Tigres

They might become eligible, who knows. But shortly after the final Tigres sacked the manager

I didn’t bother applying, I doubt 1 promotion from the second division in Chile will be enough to land the job at one of Mexico’s top teams.



In preparation for our first season in the Primera Division we make some much needed signings. I won’t go through all the sales, as a lot of players were let go. The squad was 37 players when I joined!


But coming in to give us a fighting chance of staying up are midfielder Freddy Munizaga, defenders Claudio Calderon and Michael Contreras (who was on loan and signed permanently) and forward David Escalante

We also managed to agree a loan deal for former Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez

With a good mix of experience and ability I’m looking forward to getting the new season underway!

8 years ago
2 hours ago

From out of nowhere


Due to how the seasons were when I started at Cobreloa, the second season was to be a short one and ran from June to December. From the next season onwards it ran January – November 


In the shortened season we held a record of 14 played, 9 wins 5 losses and no draws before a triple header with our local rivals, and Chile’s richest club Cobresal.

We’d taken to life in the top division pretty quickly and found our way into the quarter final of the cup. The 3 games against the vermin from Cobresal would be the test on just how far we’d come in 16 short months, and we certainly brought them and their millions down a peg or three!


The first of the trifecta against the scum was the first leg of the quarter final and was as easy a derby match as could be, as they got their pants pulled down and took a good smashing, 3-0 to us


The next match of the 3 saw us get our own sloppy seconds as we started where we left off and cleaned up after ourselves in a 2-0 win in the league and 3 more valuable points



We made it a perfect 3 wins from 3 against them with a 2-0 away win in the second leg, 5-0 on aggregate which dumps them out of the cup


Cobresal did get a modicum of revenge however as through constant fouling and being dick heads in general, saw them injure our forward David Escalante in that third game



Our next hurdle in our quest to reach the cup final was in the form of a 2 legged semi against San Luis Quillota

They’d already given us a 1-0 loss in the shortened league season, and followed that up with another victory over us, 2-1 in the first leg of the semi


But we managed to overturn that first leg loss with a resounding 6-0 second leg win to get us in to the final of the cup!


Between the 3 matches with Cobresal and double header with San Luis it was clear the team were a force going forward but we were susceptible at the back, despite that 6-0 thrashing of San Luis. The ride back to Calama after the first leg loss to San Luis made me chuckle. The shit house manager of San Luis piped up in the media, something along the lines of aggression and not shaking hands

He’s old news to me and the boys now. We got drawn against Deportes Temuco in the cup final who managed to absolutely destroy us 5-1 in our league game just a week before the final



A little over a year in Cobreloa and I couldn’t be happier. Promotion in our first season together and now a cup final to look forward to, everything was dropping into place. The players that were already at the club, namely Lucas Simon and Jose Silva have been key to our exceeding expectations. I'm under no illusions about how we made it to the cup final. Luckily, or conveniently, you decide, we avoided some of Chile's bigger clubs like Colo-Colo and O'Higgins, and really our path to the final could've been a lot harder than it had been


Obviously the team needs some work doing to it and we certainly need to be more consistent, but things are certainly looking rosy at the minute, but I can’t shake this feeling I’ve got of some impending disaster. 


Rob Friend, one of my coaches is constantly talking about things he’s read in the media and online and seems distracted a lot. He keeps talking about thunder or something like that.


I tend to keep off the sports websites and social media to avoid getting affected by any press. I tell the players the same as well, whether they listen is another story though.



8 years ago
2 hours ago

Subject – Operation Rolling Thunder

Attachment – Cob_2_Chi.wav & Cob_3_Chi.wav and text copies with annotations attached


Use of code words present in Cob_3_Chi.wav

Surveillance ongoing


Call recording commenced after 01 minute and 09 seconds of dialog

[Male no.1, assumed to be Augusto Gonzalez, Cobreloa chairman] You can’t be serious

[Male no.2, strong English accent, possibly Yorkshire(to be confirmed) as yet unidentified] I am being very serious my friend

[Male no.1] That’s a pretty big allegation. What basis does anyone have?

[Male no.2] Apparently your man has ties with some very shady people in the states. [Inaudible] means to get to New York. He’s got a lot of friends in low places

[Male no.1] You’re mistaken. He was a nobody when I hired him

[Male no.2] Exactly. Where did you find him?

[Male no.1] It sort of just happened.

[Male no.2] That’s partly why the allegations are there. How has a nobody from Texas taken your team from the second division to the Primera league and a cup final, with that squad in 18 months?

[Male no.1] Hard work [inaudible] players like him [background noise] got them playing well

[Male no.2] Apart from 2 players that squad is poor, really poor

[Male no.1] What’s your point? He’s got our forward banging goals in and the rest of the team are playing out of their skins

[Male no.2] Listen mate they’re looking into you and the team. No team ever does as well as Cobreloa have done without major investments. The players you’ve signed are past their prime or never has been journeymen. By rights you should be propping up the league, not 6th and in the cup final. That’s why you’re being looked at, match fixing and dodgy refs


Silence for 6 seconds


[Male no.1] I’m not going to dignify that with an answer

[Male no.2] The things your team has done should have been down the road at Cobresal with all that money they’ve got

[Male no.1] That takeover needs looking at, no way that was by the books

[Male no.2] Forget that, you need to do some digging if you don’t already know what’s going on under your nose


Call ended at 15:54 local time




Call number 2 of a series of calls between members of The Hit Squad organised crime syndicate

Rolando Chavez identified as making the call, hereby referred to as RC. Call made from a Santiago, Chile address on 04 December 2017 at 16:04 local time

Shawn Delaney identified as receiving the call, hereby referred to as SD. Call received at another Santiago address.

Persons referred to as ‘big guy’ & ‘little guy’ as yet remain unidentified. Seth’s team are looking into this


[RC] I told you’d I had a good feeling about the dogs

[SD] The tips at the track were good this week

[RC] Plenty of books to be viewed in the big room next week

[SD] Have you checked in on the veal?

[RC] Plenty. All [inaudible] and waiting. Just need the [background noise / inaudible] confirming

[SD] Such as

[RC] End game, number of players, you know, the usual

[SD] I’ll speak with the big guy, you tell the little guy to be ready

[RC] It will be done


Call ended 16:06 local time

8 years ago
2 hours ago

Subject – Re. Operation Rolling Thunder

Attachment – Cob_4_Chi.wav and text copy with annotations attached


Persons heard in the call are confirmed as Rolando Chavez (RC) & Micky Q (Hereby referred to as MQ) 

Use of code words present again. 

The ‘café’ is yet an unknown location, Seth’s team are looking into this. 

The ‘unit’ and ‘Argey’ are possibly Cobreloa forwards David Escalante and Lucas Simon. We’re yet to receive authorisation to monitor their movements, although they have been spotted with the Cobreloa squad and coaching staff during the last 2 days. Both were off the grid from 15:00 yesterday to 08:30 today and are travelling to Santiago at the time of my typing this email. The feeling is neither are aware of any wrong doing by others associated with the suspects or anyone at the club at this time, although they are going to be people of interest based on the call recording attached.

Surveillance ongoing of the other potential accomplices of the group known as ‘The Hit Squad’


[MQ] Tommy [potentially known fugitive Tommy Simeone, AKA The Piano Man, TBC] told me to get the papers

[RC] And did you?

[MQ] I did.

[RC] What did you put down there

[MQ] 50 large on the unit banging

[RC] We cut those fractions, the unit was broken so that should be a banker

[MQ] I got another 25 on the Argey getting in on the act

[RC] He’s mustard, he’s not involved, should be good for a return though

[MQ] Who knows

[RC] Need to know only, no public, we’re good

[MQ] How’s the rocks looking

[RC] Perfect, no discussions needed

[MQ] The big guy wants a word

[RC] I’ll call the café at noon tomorrow


Call ended after 53 seconds

8 years ago
2 hours ago

Destiny, as a word, can cause great expectations, and panic



The rumors of match fixing were gathering pace around the time of our FA Cup final game with Temuco, with just about every news outlet in the country running with the story. I didn’t pay much attention to it really as I was concentrating on getting the team ready for the final.


Temuco had beaten us 5-1 in the league a few weeks previous, although since that game and the final, we’d played 1 league game whereas they’d had 4 games in 3 weeks. I was sure we’d be the fitter of the 2 teams heading into the game almost hoping they’d be jaded.


I told the players just to go out there without any extra pressure, as the pressure would be on Temuco to have a repeat of the 5 goal beating they gave us earlier in the season. Privately I thought we’d overachieved getting to the final, but had to agree that our path there wasn’t the hardest and we could have easily been drawn against a bigger team.



The fans were in the stand behind the dugout and in the end where Temuco would be shooting toward in the first half. They made their voices heard and it spurred the players on right from the off.  It didn’t take long for the first goal to go in, and it was in our favour


Escalante, who had been injured by our rivals Cobresal had managed to get fit for this one and picked up right he left off. He scored the first in 3 minutes and had managed to double our lead mid way through the first half. We went in at half time 2 goals up.


My half time address to the players was short and simple, keep going! We just had to keep up the momentum and really, we’d controlled the game up until half time anyway. I felt there would be some fight back from Temuco and there was, but it lasted all of about 10 minutes. 


We got our third and killed off the game a little over 10 minutes into the second half, as Simon scored again to give us a 3-0 with most of the second half to play



I wanted us to just see the game out, but Temuco, knowing they’d stuffed the chance of winning the cup, went about causing as much unrest as possible. They constantly fouled and didn’t let any rhythm get into the remainder of the game. The second yellow on 67 summed up the afternoon for them in many ways



Once all the media stuff was out of the way I could celebrate with the players. We had a good couple of hours after the game and all felt we really deserved this win. Considering that we’d just been promoted and our only aim was staying in the top division in the shortened season, we were all buzzing we’d won it. Not only that, but from the next season we’d find ourselves in the COPA Libertadores qualifying stage. I was under no illusions that we’d even make it to the group stages yet alone win it at the first try, but to be in the competition was a massive bonus.


Just as I was heading out of the stadium after celebrating with the players and my staff, and after they’d all left, 1 man in a suit walked into the changing room, accompanied by 2 uniformed police officers and spoke to me in a stern way ‘Mister Lloyd, we’d like a word’



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