spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

One of my favorite challenges in FM is to take a team from the bottom playable leagues in England (in this case, the 6th tier Vanarama National League North/South) and take them all the way to the top of the Premier League. For years, my go-to team for that sort of save has been the Concord Rangers.

 

Why Concord? Simply put, I've always thought the club nickname of “The Beach Boys” had a bit of fun novelty to it. I enjoy making custom kits for the club in the Hawaiian shirt style. I play surf/tropical music during home games on my stream (including a few Beach Boys tunes). Perhaps most importantly: I haven't seen any YouTube/Twitch FM players playing with the club, which makes the save feel unique every year.

 

This year I've also decided to take the Puerto Rican national team to glory. Why Puerto Rico? For starters, my grandfather was of Puerto Rican origin. Beyond that, I think I just like the idea of managing underdog teams, and Puerto Rico fits the bill!

 

So, with that: we'll begin our Career in the Vanarama South (6th tier) with Concord and in relative obscurity with Puerto Rico. Can we build these two underdogs into formidable squads? Only time will tell….

 

(I've actually already played multiple seasons of this save, but will be updating the story as I have time in the coming days/weeks to recap the action to this point. Moving forward, I'll be updating on a much more regular basis. To watch the career unfold live, feel free to drop into my stream at twitch.tv/spacexaddy )

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season One - 2022/2023

Concord

Vanarama National League South

 

To begin our save we took over the aforementioned “Beach Boys” of Concord Rangers in the English 6th Tier. Concord's initial roster was composed of several players I'd played with in previous FMs, including Danny Green, James Blanchfield, Nana Kyei, Tosan Popo, Aron Pollock, and Ben Search, as well as several useful players like Melvin Minter, Teddy Perkins, Louis Ramsay, Aaron Eyoma, and Alex Hernandez. Having this core of players in the squad helped set a tone of familiarity, and I set out to find additional players through Trials, etc. to fill out our areas of need. I signed up Jayden Smith at striker, Jarvis Edobor at CB, and several other players as stop-gap options either on loan (Max Hudson, Karoy Anderson) or on non-contract deals (James Whiting, Jack Davies).

 

Tactically we ran out a variation of my preferred 5-2-1-2 with a DLP-Defend replacing the Carrilero in the midfield (to generate some additional playmaking) and our CB trio being composed of all CDs on Defend rather than my preferred Libero setup (as we did not have a capable Libero). I also utilized a Pressing Forward on Support for my secondary striker, as we did not have anybody capable of playing False 9 or DLF at this level. We would also use a 4-1-3-2 pressing option when chasing games, as this tactic was very effective in FM22. 

 

After an undefeated preseason, we opened up our season 0-2-1 before finally getting our first win through a 6-3 goalfest away to Oxford City. This result seemed to get our offense firing, and The Beach Boys spent the next several games splitting results before we picked up the “Good Vibrations” and reeled off a 10-match unbeaten run from mid-September to late October.This unbeaten run saw us win 3 times in FA Cup Qualifying, beating Burgess Hill, Enfield Town, and Ebbsfleet in our qualifying run. 

 

Preseason - November

After exiting the FA Cup in the first round through a narrow 2-3 loss vs League Two side Stockport, we had mixed results from November - Mid January. These mixed results saw our team win comfortably in the FA Trophy Second Round vs Didcot, but then fall out of the competition after a 0-1 defeat to Eastleigh.

 

Finally, things began to click with our team in late January as a 2-0 win over Oxford City started what would become a 15-match unbeaten streak! This unbeaten run was entirely composed of league results, and saw us register an impressive 4-0 win over Dover, a 6-1 win over Slough, and a 3-0 win over Dartford before fizzling out with 3 straight draws.

 

November - March

 

Our team stumbled into the Promotion Playoffs with an unimpressive 1-3-2 record in April, leading to some worry heading into the all-important playoff matches. In our first matchup (Taunton at home), Taunton jumped out to a quick lead after a 4th minute goal before we equalized through a Jarvis Edobor header (near post corner routine). Taunton had a man sent off in the 41st, allowing us to control the second half and finally get our winning goal through Alex Hernandez in the 89th minute.

 

Final games of our 22-23 season

 

We moved on to play Dulwich Hamlet in the Promotion Final at Wembley, and “Wouldn't it Be Nice” if we were to gain promotion? 

 

A raucous crowd of 9,884 filled the massive Wembley Stadium, setting a tone for what would be an epic battle. We jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes after goals from Jayden Smith and Aron Pollock. The Beach Boys were cruising until the 63rd minute, when Dulwich got one back through a silly penalty. This seemed to spur them onward, and they equalized in the 71st, sending the match to extra time. 

 

The Beach Boys would not be denied their glory, however, and Jayden Smith tucked one away in the 97th minute to send our club up to the National League!

 

For the season, Jayden Smith registered a club record 34 goals, with Danny Green pitching in 20 goals, Lewis Johnson scoring 16 goals, and both James Blanchfield and Alex Hernandez scoring 8 goals. Danny Green also had 18 assists to his name, which still (as of 2027) stands as a National League South record!

 

Our 22-23 Best 11

 

Puerto Rico

169th in the World Rankings

 

I took over Puerto Rico with the goal of raising their profile internationally and making them a force to be reckoned with in CONCACAF. Unfortunately, our NA Nations League Group had already played 4 times before I'd taken over, with El Huracån Azul going 2-1-1 in the group prior to my arrival. This limited my chances of success within the group, but we closed the group with a 4-3 win over St Martin and a shocking 5-0 win over Group Winners Guatemala before defeating Sent Maarten (not to be confused with St Martin???) 2-0 in a friendly. 

 

Our Puerto Rico 22 campaign

 

Tactically with Puerto Rico, I like to run my 5-2-1-2 in its most aggressive form: with both wingbacks on attack! Similar to Concord, we ran a Pressing forward on Support for our secondary striker, but utilized our best passing CB as as Libero to create as we prefer. Due to the level of competition we often face, I also have “shoot on sight” on to increase our goals against subpar goalkeeping.

 

As for roster composition, we do not feature many players playing in quality leagues. Our top players typically play in the US, with 1-2 in the MLS and most playing in the USL Championship (2nd tier) or lower. Notable standouts when I took over included Colby Quinones, Zarek Valentin, Hector Ramos, and Alec Diaz. 

 

Puerto Rico Best 11 2022

 

2023 was a year entirely made up of Friendlies for Puerto Rico which featured:

  • Wins over Antigua & Barbuda (3-0), Trinidad & Tobago (4-3), Haiti (3-2), St Lucia (4-1) and Cuba (2-1)
  • Draws against St Kitts and Nevis (1-1) and the Dominican Republic (2-2)
  • One loss against Honduras (2-4)

 

2023 Puerto Rico results
Puerto Rico 23 Best 11

 

This run of results saw us jump to 156th by the end of 2023, an improvement of 13 spots from our starting point.

 

Looking Ahead:

 

For Concord: We are now in the Vanarama National League!!! The Beach Boys are picking up the Good Vibrations and I have high hopes that we will be able to stay up by adding some increased quality to our ranks.

 

For Puerto Rico: We'll continue to grind out results in friendlies until we run into World Cup qualifiers in 2024.

 

I'll be updating with additional seasons as I have time, but hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop into my stream on Twitch (twitch.tv/spacexaddy) at any time for the live results!

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season Two - 2023/2024

 

Concord

Vanarama National League

 

We've gone up a division, and our new division comes with new challenges. The Media has picked us to finish 23rd (out of 24) and our board has given us the goal of “Fight Bravely Against Relegation”. I feel as though both are grossly underestimating our team, and feel fairly confident we'll overachieve these expectations.

 

As such, I went into the season with these goals in mind:

 

  • Avoid relegation and finish as close to mid table as possible. We will target a potential playoff/promotion campaign next season.
  • Sign quality players on free transfers, specifically targeting Premier League and Championship academy players that have been released
  • Consolidate your existing roster - keep the quality players you've got while cutting the “dead weight” - players from last year's team who we do not feel are capable of contributing at this higher level
  • Over the course of the season try to sort out your long term roster pieces and begin to build your dream team around them

 

Our board threw a wrench in this plan early by agreeing to sell our record goalscorer from 22-23, Jayden Smith, for a paltry 10k. Needing to bolster our options, we signed the following players in the summer window:

 

Premier League/Championship Academy Players - all free after being released by their former clubs

  • Josh Robinson (CB, CM) released by Arsenal
  • Basilio Rieno- Socoliche (CAM), Cardo Siddik (CB) and Noah Watson (CB, LWB), released by Crystal Palace
  • Jaden Williams (ST) released by Tottenham
  • Alfie Marriott (GK) released by Watford

 

Other free transfers:

  • Jamie Taylor (CM) formerly of Tonbridge
  • Jem Hewlett (CB) formerly of Farnborough

 

On Loan:

  • Aaron Powell (LWB) from Peterborough
  • Dylan Gavin (ST) from Charlton

 

We also said goodbye to several of our players, including Tosan Popo and Aron Pollock.

 

And with that, we entered our new season refreshed! Josh Robinson quickly became one of our club leaders alongside Jaden Williams, with the other new additions filling in across the pitch.

 

Because of this massive turnover, however, our team took quite a while to fully come together and play cohesive football. Our opening to the campaign was dreadful, with our record entering November standing at 3-2-9. We did somehow manage to qualify for the FA Cup after a 2-0 win over Kingstonian, but were quickly humbled in a 5-0 defeat to Charlton.

 

Our rough early-season form

 

November saw the club's fortunes start to change, however, as the new signings finally began to develop a bit of chemistry and a feel for our tactical setup. Similar to 2022-2023, we utilized a DLP-Defend in our Midfield in order to act as a playmaking hub, with our back 3 still being composed of all CD- Defenders without a passable option for our preferred Libero setup. Up top, we continued with the Pressing Forward as our secondary striker in the absence of a DLF,  F9, or TF. 

 

With the tactics and chemistry finally setting in, The Beach Boys rattled off a quick 11-match unbeaten run to bring our league record to 11-5-9 at the top of January. This run was highlighted by big wins over York (4-0) and Gateshead (4-1), and a 6-1 drubbing of Burgess Hill in the FA Trophy Third Round that would be a preview of later success in the competition.

 

Following a mixed January, we returned to our sterling form and finished both February and March unbeaten. This run included FA Trophy Wins over Fylde, Eastleigh, and Notts County (after a replay), which took us to the Semi Final of the competition!

 

Middle Season results

 

April and May would see our league form return to a more mixed bag, leading to The Beach Boys finishing the season in 9th place in their first season in the National League. Our FA Trophy Success, however, would continue as we confidently dispatched Altrincham 6-1 over two legs to reach the final.

 

How we finished up 2024

 

In the FA Trophy Final we would run into Yeovil, a team that we had drawn with twice on the season. Wembley would yet again open its doors to the Concord faithful as 19,357 fans piled into the stadium for what would be an epic Cup Final.

 

Yeovil struck first with a goal in the 8th minute before doubling their lead in the 27th. Changes were needed, and after a firm (but rousing, of course) halftime talk, we made some tactical tweaks and hit the second half with renewed purpose. Danny Green dispatched a penalty in the 47th minute to give us hope, before Basilio tucked away a goal in the 74th to bring us level. New signing Donnell McNeilly would get sent off in the 75th, however, forcing The Beach Boys to hold on for extra time.

 

In extra time, Basilio would score against the run of play to put the 10-man Concord Rangers up 3-2 on the evening. Yeovil would find an equalizer in the 116th, however, sending the game to penalties. 

 

In penalties, Melvin Minter would put in an epic performance to push The Beach Boys to a 4-2 penalty shootout victory. We'd done it! We lifted our first trophy and reveled in the Wembley glory!!!

 

FA Trophy Win!!!

 

Several of our heroes from 22-23 retained their spot in the yearly best 11, with Melvin Minter, Jarvis Edobor, Louis Ramsey, James Blanchfield, Danny Green, Aaron Eyoma, Alex Hernandez, and Nana Kyei helping us to our greatest heights yet. 

 

New signing Jaden Williams helped us forget our cheaply transferred star, Jayden Smith, as he scored a Club Record 41 goals in the campaign!!! This would lead to him being named Player of the Match 14 times, which still (as of 2027) stands as a Vanarama National record. 

 

Best 11 of 23-24

 

Danny Green would continue his successful run with the club, scoring 18 goals and leading the team in assists for the second straight season. No other Beach Boy scored in the double-digits, however, with Dylan Gavin scoring 9 and Basilio Rieno-Socoliche scoring 8.

 

The club also set the dubious record for “Worst Team Discipline”, with 111 yellow cards and 3 red cards over the course of the season. 

 

Puerto Rico

156th in World Rankings

 

I, ahem, got a bit ahead of myself in my last post by discussing Puerto Rico's results in the Fall of 2023. To recap, those results included:

 

All friendly results:

  • Wins over Trinidad & Tobago (4-3), Haiti (3-2), St Lucia (4-1) and Cuba (2-1)
  • Draw against the Dominican Republic (2-2)
  • One loss against Honduras (2-4)

 

2023 for Puerto Rico

 

We continued this strong run of form in the buildup to the upcoming World Cup qualifying with these Spring 2024 results:

  • Wins over El Salvador (5-1), Montserrat (4-2), Curacao (5-2), and Bermuda (5-1)

 

2024 for Puerto Rico

And that about covers the notable results of El Huracån Azul for 2023-2024.

 

Our Best 11 for 2024

 

Looking Ahead:

 

For Concord: We will be looking to continue our success in the Vanarama National League and will hopefully push for a promotion playoff spot in 20242025.

 

For Puerto Rico: We begin our World Cup Qualifying campaign and expect to progress as far as we can in the qualifying process.

 

As always, I'll update additional seasons as I have time over the next couple of weeks. Hope this journey is somewhat entertaining, and I look forward to seeing where it might lead in future seasons.

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season Three - 2024/2025

 

Concord 

Vanarama National League

 

After a successful first season in the National League,  I wanted to push things even further. We went into 2024/2025 with these personal goals:

 

  • Consolidate existing roster - keep quality players and filter out players who were not performing at the necessary levels
  • Add young talent to our existing roster
  • Push for a promotion playoff spot

 

Our board was. little less ambitious in asking us to “avoid getting into a relegation battle”. Simple enough given we just finished 9th!

 

We decided to get things going with roster consolidation and did not renew the contract for Alex Hernandez, our academy product and backup striker. Several other peripheral players were released, as well.

 

We then moved on with the following signings, all free after being released by their previous clubs:

  • Donnell McNeilly, Striker (free from Chelsea)
  • Harrison Dudziak, CM/CAM (free from Arsenal)
  • Jemiah Umolu, Striker (free from West Ham)
  • Cameron Gregory, Goalkeeper (free from Kettering)
  • Junior Robinson, RWB (free from West Ham)
  • Kaelan Casey, Libero (free from West Ham)
  • Ryan Bartley, CB (free from Crystal Palace)
  • Regan Clayton, LWB (free from West Ham)

 

Nearly all of those signings would immediately fit into our first team plans, with Casey in particular being an absolutely critical signing. Casey's ability to play the Libero role at an acceptable level allowed for me to switch my system to my preferred 5-2-1-2 Libero setup (which you can find linked here). This would single-handedly transform our already over-achieving team into a team with real ambition and ability, and we adjusted our preseason goal of “Pushing for a Promotion Playoff” to “Push for an Automatic Promotion Spot”.

 

We started with an unbeaten preseason that featured multiple results against much bigger sides (Draw vs Norwich, Draw vs Charlton, Win against Cambridge) and carried that positivity into the season, where we opened up with a 7-game unbeaten streak.

 

Early season form

 

We ran into a run of mixed results from mid-September to December with highs including a 7-2 thrashing of South Shields and lows including a 1-3 defeat to Torquay. During this time we also qualified for the FA Cup through a 4-0 win over Welling, but were knocked out of the tournament by a much larger Peterborough side (managed by John Terry) 2-3. This would be the third straight season we'd been knocked out in the first round, something we'd very much want to improve in future seasons. 

 

December saw our team play only twice, as waterlogged pitches led to a ton of games being cancelled. We took advantage of this additional rest, however, and started what would become a 13 game unbeaten streak, with 12/13 results being wins.

 

mid-season form

 

Our form continued in mid-February where we began another 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions. This led our club to the top of the table, and saw us advance to the Final of the FA Trophy after a 8-4 thriller over Barnet in the semifinal. 

 

We finished the season on mixed form, but raised the National League Trophy as league winners! We would not, however, be able to repeat our FA Trophy win as we were given a solid whooping at the hands of Hartlepool that ended 1-5. 

 

end of season form

 

FA Trophy Bracket

That said, it was obvious a very successful campaign for the club! Several players retained their spot on the best 11 for the season (Basilio Rieno-Socoliche, Jamie Taylor, Louis Ramsay, Jarvis Edobor, Josh Robinson, Melvin Minter, James Blanchfield, Noah Watson, Jaden Williams) with several of the new signings (Donnell McNeilly, Jemiah Umolu, Harrison Dudziak, Regan Clayton, Kaelan Casey, Cameron Gregory, and Junior Robinson) marking their first season with success.

 

Vanarama National Champions!!!

 

Kaelan Casey, in particular, would have a VERY successful season as he set a league record for average rating (7.50) and won the League Player of the Season award! We also set Club Records for League Goals in a season (95) and Most League Wins in a Season (27). New signing Umolu led the line with 28 goals, with McNeilly chipping in 19, Jaden Williams scoring 16, and Basilio Rieno-Socoliche scoring 14.

 

Perhaps most importantly, our success and promotion led to the club finally deciding to turn professional! This would prove to be a very useful change as we headed into League Two.

 

 

 

Puerto Rico

153rd in World Rankings

 

El Huracån Azul would begin their World Cup qualifying run, but first needed to dispatch the Solomon Islands (5-0) and New Caledonia (2-1) in warmup friendlies.

 

We opened our World Cup Qualification with a 3-0 win away to the Cayman Islands before wrapping up the tie with an impressive 9-2 win at home. A 12-2 aggregate win led us into a qualifying knockout tie against a heavily-favored Guatemala side.

 

After losing the home tie 1-2 (in which we suffered a 47th-minute red card), we bounced back with a decisive 6-2 win away to send ourselves through to the Group Stages of qualification. Hector Ramos, our nations all-time leading goalscorer, led the squad in the comeback with a hat trick in the second tie.

 

 

We then entered the Group Stage with three teams who were all favored to beat us: The Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Panama. Embracing the underdog role and feeling we had nothing to lose, we surprised both Panama and the DR in our opening games with our attacking intent. This led to two victories (2-1, 3-1) and led us to the top of the Group table!

 

We will enter the 25=26 season on top of our Qualifying Group with hopes of securing a World Cup spot!

 

As for rankings: we jumped up to 140th after these results!

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Concord: Entering first season in Sky Bet League Two

 

Puerto Rico: Finishing Group Qualifying for the World Cup

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season Four - 2025/2026

 

Concord

Sky Bet League Two

 

We're now a professional team! We can offer ACTUAL CONTRACTS!!! Now it's feeling like a real save…

 

Same goals as usual:

  • Consolidate existing roster - keep exciting players and filter out those not performing at the necessary levels
  • Add new young talent
  • Finish our first season in a respectable position, then push for promotion next year

 

Our board…..well…..let's just say they had more modest ideas. We were told to “fight bravely against relegation”. We then received a 0k transfer budget and only a decent uptick in available wages. Guess we'll have to get creative!

 

Oh and for odds? We were considered 600-1 odds to win the League. Fortunately for us, we are now in Year 2 of running our Preferred Tactic - the 5-2-1-2 Libero - and have a squad that has already adapted well to this play style. Add some talent to this mix, and I feel we could greatly overachieve yet again.

 

Let's get started with consolidation: Donnell McNeilly (a standout signing from Chelsea) was sold to Middlesborough for 145k and Jarvis Edobor asked to leave for a free (he joined Solihull Moors). We also let Louis Ramsey leave for 15.5k, and saw Ryan Bartley, Melvin Minter, and James Blanchfield depart our squad. 

 

For new signings, we signed:

  • Steve Allen, Defender (free from Arsenal)
  • Delano McCoy-Splatt, Midfielder (free from Fulham)
  • Pharrell Johnson, Defender (free from Nottingham Forest)
  • Amadou Diallo, Striker (free from Brentford)
  • Josh Okotcha, Defender (free from Walsall)
  • Owen Bailey, Defender (free from Gateshead)
  • Flynn Clarke, Striker (free from Norwich)

 

We also brought in David Aziaya (GK, Norwich), Seb Revan (Defender, QPR), Dubem Eze (CAM, Norwich), and Jack Moore (Defender, Blackpool) on loan to beef up our overall depth.

 

Several of these players would immediately slot into our starting lineups, with Allen, McCoy-Splatt, Johnson, Diallo, and Clarke all taking on key roles right away.

 

We opened up our campaign with an undefeated preseason before jumping into a mixed opening two months of the season. During this time we had impressive wins (6-0 over Colchester, 4-1 over Grimsby, and 3-0 over Stevenage), but were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup after a 2-0 loss to Portsmouth. 

 

From the start of October to the end of the season, however: utter dominance. 

 

Early Season Form

 

Our October? 5-1-1 with notable victories over Grimsby (3-0) and Southend (5-0).

 

November? Undefeated (6-2-0) with victories over Doncaster, Gillingham, and Stockport. We also knocked League One Charlton out of the FA Cup.

 

December? 3-2-1 with a big 4-2 win over Tranmere, but being knocked out of the FA Cup on replay after a loss to Championship side Peterborough.

 

January? Began 5-0-0 with a standout win (5-0) over Rochdale. We would get knocked out of the Papa Johns Trophy in the Quarterfinal by West Ham's U21 side, but being a Hammer fan, I wasn't so upset.

 

We would then go on a 3 MONTH unbeaten run, with a record of 7-8-0 over that period. Notable wins include 2-0 over Crewe, 2-0 over Fleetwood, and 2-0 over Carlisle.

 

Mid-Season Form

 

We'd end our season on mixed form, however, with only one win over our last 6 games. Despite the late slide, we finished in a very comfortable 1st place with a final record of 27 wins, 14 draws, and only 5 (!!!) losses. We finished on 95 points, 18 points clear of Crawley in second place (!!!). We also scored 95 goals, allowed only a meager 38 (less than a goal a game!). 

 

End of Season Form

 

In every way, shape, and form we GREATLY overachieved all of our wildest goals and dreams and secured our Promotion to League One. 

 

Best 11 of the season

 

Several of the key players from our National League triumph played key roles in our campaign, with Cameron Gregory (GK), Kaelan Casey (Libero), Regan Clayton (LWB), Josh Robinson (CM), Harrison Dudziak (CAM), and Jemiah Umolu (ST) all retaining their spots in our yearly Best Eleven. Jamie Taylor, Jaden Williams, and Junior Robinson also kept their spots in our regular rotation.

 

New signings Steve Allen, Pharrell Johnson, Delano McCoy-Splatt, Flynn Clarke, Josh Okotcha, and Amadou Diallo joined loanees Jack Moore, David Aziaya, and Dubem Eze in our Team of the Season. 

 

Kaelan Casey would have a second-consecutive spectacular season as our Libero, averaging an insane 7.66 match rating (still-standing league record rating) and picking up the League Two Player of the Season Award. We'd also set a League Two record for Worst Team Discipline, with the club battling to the tune of 137 yellow yards and 3 red cards, lol. “Get Stuck In”, am I right?

 

Jemiah Umolu would again lead us in goals with 23, but he was joined in the 20+ club by Flynn Clarke. Jaden Williams pitched in 19 goals, Dudziak and Diallo both contributed 11, and our CB/Set Piece signing Steve Allen added 9 - all from set pieces!!!

 

Puerto Rico

140th in World Rankings

 

El Huracån Azul would begin their 25-26 campaign atop their World Cup Qualifying group after shock wins over both Panama and the Dominican Republic. Looking to consolidate our position and see out our early lead, we drew our next two matches (1-1 away to Haiti and 1-1 away to Panama) before dispatching the DR (3-0 at home) and Haiti (4-1 at home) to qualify for the World Cup!!!!

 

Our World Cup Qualification Group

 

(normally we'd have to undergo a much more difficult qualification, but the North American region had expanded qualification due to the expanded amount of World Cup participants in 2026.

 

We would close out 2025 with two dominant 5-1 wins over both Tahiti and Fiji, then open 2026 with wins over both Barbados (3-0) and Belize (4-0).

 

Our celebrations would be cut short, however, as the World Cup draw took place. We were given Germany (!!!) and Japan (!!!) as our opponents in the group stage, which would surely see us exit the tournament in the opening round.

 

Two easy wins (3-0 over Guam and the US Virgin Isles) led us into our World Cup Campaign. How would we do???

 

World Cup Group

 

Not so great, it would turn out. Germany blasted us 5-0 in a game where we only registered a single shot on target. All-time leading goalscorer Hector Ramos earned a Red Card in the 45th minute, which all but sealed our fate against the footballing giants of Germany.

 

We would take pride, however, in earning a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Japan in the next game. Leandro Antonetti and Libero Emmanuel D'Andrea would grab the goals for El Huracån Azul, and we would exit the tournament having earned a solitary point in our brief stay.

 

2026 Best 11

 

All was not lost, however! Our season was by far our most successful….we'd taken an obscure island nation to an unexpected appearance in the World Cup, and in doing so rose in the World Rankings all the way to 113th!!!

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Concord: Entering first season in Sky Bet League One

 

Puerto Rico: World Rank of 113 entering a year of friendlies

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

wangifold
4 years ago
1 hour ago
1

Awesome writeup! Love reading through all of this!

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium
By wangifold 13 January 2023 - 18:36 PM UTC 

Awesome writeup! Love reading through all of this!

 

Thanks so much! I'm currently in year 2027-2028 of the save and have been trying to post here frequently enough to get us completely caught up. I'll likely stay with the season-by-season format until we get caught up with the save, and then I'll be updating after each stream. 

 

Thanks for the support though, and feel free to drop in the stream (Sunday evenings) if you'd like to watch it all live!

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season Five - 2026/2027

 

Concord Rangers

Sky Bet League One

 

Onward to League One! We've got a good core group of young, talented players who were academy products of big name teams and we dominated in our only season in League Two. We play patient, possessing football, and the core group of players have now played together for a couple of seasons and are gelling nicely.

 

No surprise, however, that our board gave us only a modest sum of 100k to work with in the transfer window. Our wage budget is also the lowest in League One, and we have been asked to “Avoid getting involved in a Relegation battle”. 

 

So as usual, we set out to do our business in the offseason intelligently: Focus on building our existing talent, sign free transfers who improve our squad, and aim for a solid first season in a new division. When I get promoted I generally try to just consolidate the squad and shoot for a mid-table finish, with a goal of pushing for higher goals in season 2 within the new division.

 

To consolidation:

  • Several players (Basilio Rieno-Socoliche, Noah Watson, Jem Hewlett) are all sold off for a total of around 70k.
  • Others are sold off for more notable fees, including Josh Okotcha (50k to Hartlepool), Owen Bailey (61k to Chesterfield), and Timmy Abraham (who we'd signed on a free near the end of last season as depth option) for 35k to Yeovil.
  • Several players are loaned out, including multiple academy products. We also loan out first team players like Jaden Williams, Junior Robinson, and Harrison Dudziak

 

We then add several new signings, including:

  • Charlie Sweeting, Forward (free from Liverpool)
  • Jed Howles, Midfielder (free from Tottenham)
  • Joel Shone, Defender (free from Chelsea)
  • Ronald Noray, Defender (free from Tottenham)
  • Jack Hinchy, Midfielder (free from Cheltenham)
  • Caden Kelly, Midfielder (free from Sunderland
  • Jack Moore, Defender (free from Blackpool, was with us on loan the previous season)
  • Tony Weston, Forward (free from Burnley)
  • Freddie Potts, Midfielder (free from West Ham)
  • Rico Richards, Midfielder (free from West Brom)
  • Alex Kpakpe, Defender (free from Stoke, was with us on loan the previous season)
  • Benjamin Mensah, Defender (free from Peterborough)
  • Martin Experience, Defender (free from Cholet, a French team. This player was scouted by our Puerto Rican scouts in the NA World Cup Qualifying)
  • Ethan Ross, Goalkeeper (free from Stockport)
  • Ryan Finnegan, Midfielder (loan from Southampton)

 

Not all of these signings were made with the current season in mind, so some of the more long-term prospects (Howles, Noray, Kelly, Potts) were loaned. out to various clubs in lower leagues.

 

Two of those signings, Moore and Kpakpe, brought experience within our system and fit into our first-team plans seamlessly. Shone, Experience, Rico Richards, Weston, Hinchy, Sweeting, and Finnegan would also go on to feature prominently with our first team.

 

We opened, as usual, with an undefeated preseason where we built form, match fitness, and cohesiveness. We would then open up with a good opening month record in August, going 4-0-2 with big wins over Swindon (3-0), and Bristol City (2-1), but falling to Plymouth (0-3) and Lincoln (0-1). We also produced a pair of upsets in the Carabao Cup, with our squad knocking out Championship sides Wigan (3-0) and Fulham (5-3). 

 

early season form

 

Our Carabao Cup run would come to a horrendous halt in September, however, as Premier League side Stoke blasted us 5-0 at home. Outside of that result, September was mostly mixed with a fun Papa John's Trophy win over Crystal Palace U21s (4-1) providing the highlight of the month that ended with a 3-1-2 record overall.

 

October was more of the same mixed results, with our overall record standing at 3-1-3. Wins over Colchester (3-1) and Wycombe (3-1) lifted the spirits, but losses to Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton, and Bristol Rovers brought us back down to earth.

 

November? More of the same. 3-0-3 on the month with a fun win against Crawley (5-0) balanced out with close losses against Barnsley and Peterborough. We also crashed out of the FA Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Tranmere.

 

December is where we finally began to play well together and achieve some consistent form. We finished 4-3-1 on the month, with the lone loss being to Sunderland (a much bigger club).

 

mid-season form

 

Our form would continue into January and February where a lone loss (1-5 to Wimbledon) ruined what was otherwise a fantastic run. We notched a 8-3-1 record over these months, taking us up the table and building confidence! This spell also saw us advance all the way to the Papa John's Semi Final after wins over Charlton (3-1) and Bristol Rovers (5-1).

 

March continued our sterling form, with an undefeated month being highlighted by a 2-1 win over Everton in the Papa John's Semi Final! 

 

We would end up losing the Final, however, to open our April as Ipswich claimed the trophy after a 4-2 victory at Wembley.

 

After a mixed April (2-1-2) and a win in may over Notts County, we finished our League season ranked 5th in the table - good enough for a spot in the promotion playoff. I was very wary of promotion, and mentioned several times during my playoff stream that I was concerned about our squads ability to compete at the Championship level had we been promoted. I felt strongly that although we'd had a good season, one more year in League One would do us a world of good in building our depth, facilities, etc. to a level necessary to survive in the higher divisions.

 

In the first playoff game we would run into manager John Terry and his Peterborough side. A back and forth affair would see Peterborough enter halftime of the first leg up 2-1, but goals from Flynn Clarke, Delano McCoy Splatt, and Rico Richards would save the day for us as we won 4-3 at home. 

 

In the second leg we would come out with an intent to add to our goal tally rather than park the bus, and our strategy paid off with a 43rd minute goal from Tony Weston. Peterborough would get a red card in the 63rd, and we would hold on to a 5-3 aggregate win to reach the promotion final. 

 

In a promotion final that saw a crowd of 61,788 fans enter Wembley (only 8,197 were Concord supporters), we would be the notable underdogs. A cagey affair would ensue, with neither side willing to concede many chances. 

 

We dominated the possession throughout the game and attempted to limit Sunderland chances through our possession an mid-block approaches. Tony Weston broke the tie open in the 19th minute, but Sunderland would equalize in the 22nd with a goal of their own. Weston would score again in the second half to take our lead to 2-1, and we fought to keep our lead until the dreaded 90th minute highlight began - ending with a Sunderland goal.

 

But wait! VAR had a look and ruled the goal offside! The FM Gods had smiled upon us!!! We left Wembley 2-1 winners, and despite our own desire to stay in League One, we'd been promoted to the Championship in what I viewed to be at least a season too early.

 

late season form

 

That said, we had to acknowledge that we'd built something special, something sustainable that seemed to produce consistent overachieving. We'd gained 83 points on the season to finish in 5th, scoring a nice 75 goals and only conceding 52. We had the best possession stats and shots-against stats in the league for the 3rd straight season, and we looked as though we were a team that could surprise anybody on our day. Oh and in classic Concord fashion, we'd led the league in yellow cards yet again with 140 (!!!) on the season. Strategic fouling at its best.

 

 

As usual, many of our returning stars played key roles yet again. Cameron Gregory (GK), Kaelan Casey (Libero), Jack Moore (RWB), Josh Robinson (CM), Delano McCoy-Splatt (CM), Jemiah Umolu (ST), Steve Allen (CB), Amadou Diallo (CAM/ST), Flynn Clarke (CAM/ST), and Regan Clayton (LWB) all retaining their spots in our yearly best 11. 

 

New signings Joel Shone, Martin Experience, Rico Richards, Tony Weston, Jack Hinchy, Ryan Finnegan, and Charlie Sweeting would all join in the team of the season after solid campaigns.

 

Casey, our Libero and focal point, was yet again the star of the show - averaging a 7.22 match rating to lead the team as he was shortlisted for the League One player of the season. Jemiah Umolu would again lead us in goals with 24, with Tony Weston scoring 21, Flynn Clarke scoring 16, Sweeting scoring 13, and Diallo scoring 10.

 

Puerto Rico

113th in World Rankings

 

Not much to report with El Huracån Azul, as the entire year consisted of Friendly Matches. Those results included:

 

  • 5-5 draw with Anguilla
  • 4-0 win over American Samoa
  • 3-1 win over St Lucia
  • 3-0 win over Turks and Caicos
  • 3-3 draw with Trinidad and Tobago
  • 3-3 draw with El Salvador
  • 5-0 win over Equatorial Guinea
  • 2-2 draw with Cape Verde
  • 3-1 win over Haiti
  • 2-1 win over Gabon

 

 

The 2026 dates served more as a Farewell Tour for our all-time leading scorer, Hector Ramos, who scored in every 2026 game except for the American Samoa game. We used 2027 games as more of a prep for upcoming North American Nations League games, and up-and-coming CAM/ST Jeremy de Leon led our squad in scoring for those matches. 

 

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Concord: Entering first season in Sky Bet Championship

 

Puerto Rico: World Rank of 109 entering the Nations League

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season Six - 2078/2028

 

Concord Rangers

Sky Bet Championship

 

We've moved up to the Championship! I have to say, however, I feel we did so a season early. Our squad is mostly made up of League One and high-level League Two talents, and I definitely thought we could've used another year in League One to build our depth and quality.

 

No time for that! Changes are inbound, and our board is (finally) being more ambitious than ever!

 

First order of business for the board was to announce a new stadium (finally!). “The Concord Stadium” has begun its construction and will be ready in June of 2029. This will expand our seating from the existing Aspect Arena (expanded to 5,750)  to the new stadium's capacity of 10,309! 

 

The board also provided us with our biggest transfer budget yet….1.2 million pounds! Maybe we can actually make some signings beyond our usual end-of-contract business.

 

An update on our facilities: we've been slowly increasing the quality across the board and now stand at Adequate Training Facilities, Below Average Youth facilities, and Average Youth Recruitment. Our Academy Coaching is considered exceptional, though, and the board has begun work on improved training facilities.

 

First order of business, as usual, is roster consolidation:

  • Steve Allen (bought on a free) was sold by the board for a club-record 500k fee to Sheffield United
  • Ronald Noray (bought on a free) was sold by the board for 450k to Bristol Rovers
  • Harrison Dudziak (bought on a free) was sold to Stevenage for 350k
  • Junior Robinson (bought on a free) was sold to Boston United for 100k
  • Caden Kelly (bought on a free) joined Carlisle for 100k through a buy clause in his loan
  • Jaden Williams (bought on a free) joined Boston United for 100k through a buy clause in his loan
  • Pharrell Johnson (bought on a free) was sold to Yeovil for 250k
  • Martin Experience (free) was sold to Wycombe for 250k
  • Jack Moore (free) was sold to Yeovil for 325k
  • Jemiah Umolu (free) was sold to Port Vale for 325k
  • Amadou Diallo (free) was sold by the board to Southend for 400k
  • Tony Weston (free) was sold by the board to Rochdale for 325k

 

As you can see, a decent bit of business! These signings, all bought on free transfers, raised almost 3.5m for our transfer business! 

 

Several other players left on frees/end of contract, including: Jed Howles, Benjamin Mensah, and several academy players who we did not resign.

 

All these sales, however, left our roster looking quite thin. We set out to do some business, beginning with:

  • Adam Shelley, Striker (free from Liverpool)
  • James Renshaw, Defender (free from Man City)
  • Chris Kitoko, Midfielder (free from West Ham)
  • Ben Jackson, Defender (free from Huddersfield)
  • George Earthy, Midfielder (free from West Ham)
  • Manny Monthe, Defender (free from Walsall)
  • Daniele Quieto, Midfielder (free from Inter Milan)
  • Josh Emmanuel, Defende (free from Lincoln)

 

Roughly half of these would be loaned out, with only Jackson (LWB), Earthy (BBM), Monthe (LCB), Quieto (SS), and Emmanuel (RWB) fitting into our first team plans. We'd then set out with some transfers in mind and bring in:

  • Jacob Knightsbridge, Goalkeeper (210k from Yeovil)
  • Regan Booty, Midfielder (150k from Chesterfield) - what can I say, I do love some Booty (I also make this signing every year regardless of whether it makes sense or not, so deal with it!)
  • Nathaniel Ogbeta, LWB (170k from Huddersfield)
  • Elkan Baggott, LCB (275k from Southend)
  • Kion Etete, Striker (275k from Notts County)
  • Darren Rye, Defender (club record fee of 425k from Rochdale) - Later loaned out
  • Graham Dodds, Striker (350k from Birmingham) - Later loaned out

 

And finally, we'd bring in some loans in the form of our friend Steve Allen (just purchased by Sheffield United), Jamal Baptiste (CB, West Ham), and Maksym Derkach (ST, Southampton). This concluded our transfer business with a net profit of close to 1.6m, which greatly helped our club's efforts to stay financially solvent.

 

On to the season! An undefeated preseason was highlighted by a 4-2 win over Lincoln and a controlled 2-0 win over Oxford.

 

Our first month saw mixed results, with highlights being a 1-0 win over Leicester and a 3-1 win over Cardiff. We did, however, drop out of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout loss to Brentford.

 

Early Season Form

 

September was rough for The Beach Boys, as we gained only a single point in a draw with Swansea. October would see a return to our form, however, with a 4-0-1 record highlighted by an impressive 5-1 thrashing of Rotherham.

 

November would see a return to mixed form, however, before we stabilized in December and January. This spell was highlighted by a 4-1 win over Wigan.

 

Mid-Season Form

 

February and March would bring mixed form back into play, with the club crashing out of the FA Cup in a replay match against Ipswich. We would finish the campaign undefeated in April and May, however, leading to a hopeful feeling around the club as we finished 10th in the table. 

 

Late Season Form

 

True to form, we ranked highly in possession and passing statistics while scoring 72 goals on our season. We would, however, have concerns about our defense which surrendered 60 goals on the year. 

 

Yearly 11

 

Many of our club stalwarts retained their spots in our team of the season, with Kaelan Casey (Libero), Joel Shone (RWB), Josh Robinson (CM), Charlie Sweeting (F9), Delano McCoy-Splatt (CM), and Flynn Clarke (F9) all featuring. 

 

New signings Jacob Knightsbridge (GK), Elkan Baggott (LCB), Nathaniel Ogbeta (LWB), George Earthy (CM), Daniele Quieto (SS), Ben. Jackson (LWB), James Renshaw (RCB/RWB), Regan Booty (CM), Kion Etete (ST), and Josh Emmanuel (RWB) made our team of the season, alongside loanees Jamal Baptiste and Maksym Derkach.

 

Casey, our Libero for several seasons now, put in a very impressive 7.11 rating in his first year against higher competition. Derkach would lead us in goals with 20, followed by 11 from Sweeting, 10 from Etete, 9 from Quieto, and 7 from Earthy.

 

Puerto Rico

109th in World Rankings

 

It was a busy year for El Huracån Azul, with North American Nations League and Gold Cup Playoff matches dominating the schedule. 

 

 

We were able to win our Nations League Group, securing promotion from Division C to Division B!!! Those matches included

  • 4-0 win over Montserrat
  • 5-1 win over Sint Maarten
  • 6-2 win over the Bahamas
  • 3-1 win over Montserrat
  • 2-0 win over Sint Maarten
  • 5-0 win over the Bahamas

 

Kevin Hernandez (SS/AF) took home the Golden Boot and MVP awards for the competition with 9 goals, 2 assists.

 

 

We'd move on to Gold Cup Playoff games, where we would win 3-0 on aggregate over French Guiana and 2-0 on aggregate over Suriname to gain qualification for the next Gold Cup!

 

 

We would finish our campaign with a pair of friendly draws against Burkina Faso (1-1) and Uzbekistan (1-1).

 

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Concord: Second season in the Sky Bet Championship

 

Puerto Rico: World Rank of 102 entering 2028-2029 season

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season 7.1 - The Offseason and Season Preview

 

Concord Rangers

Sky Bet Championship

 

Now that we've more-or-less caught up with our save in the current year, I've decided I'll be breaking down the seasons in 3 updates per-season:

  1. Offseason and Season Preview
  2. First Half of the Season
  3. Second Half of the Season

Doing this will hopefully allow for shorter posts, but also for more detail on each individual aspect of the season. 

 

We lead off with our Offseason, where our board. set a modest budget of 200k for our transfer business despite a record high finish the season before. We were also picked to finish 23rd and were given the objective to “Avoid Relegation”. Simple enough. 

 

As always, we start with our departures:
  • Alex Kpakpke, who had been with us since League Two, was sold to Woking as they activated a 200k clause in his loan.
    • Alex had joined us on a free from Stoke.
    • Alex had his best season with us in League One, where he had 36 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist and a 7.07 average match rating
  • Rico Richards, who joined us in League One, was sold to Leyton Orient for 85k
    • Rico joined us on a free from West Brom and had been on loan at Oxford the previous season
    • Rico's best season with us was in League One, where he appeared 31 times, scoring 4 goals and assisting twice while averaging a 6.82 match rating
  • Ben Jackson, who spent a lone season with us in the Championship having joined from Blackpool on. a free, was sold to Ayr for 200k
    • Ben featured 17 times for us, scoring one goal and chipping in two assists while averaging a 6.8 match rating in the Championship
  • Freddie Potts, who joined us in League One, was sold for 175k to Bolton after they activated a clause in his loan
    • Freddie joined on a free from West Ham, but spent most of his time on loan (Yeovil, Bolton). He featured for us only twice, averaging a 6.6 match rating
  • Josh Emmanuel, RWB, who spend a lone season with us in the Championship. Was only signed to a one-year deal, departed on a free.
  • A bevy of academy products who didn't quite progress as we'd intended were let go on free transfers
    • none of those released had ever featured for our First Team
  • Several other academy and u-21 prospects were loaned out to various clubs

 

With those departures, we'd raised an additional 660k, all of which was transferred over to our scouting budget rather than transfers. At this point, we'd rather focus on developing existing talent and seeking out new, cheap, young talent in the future.

 

To incomings:
  • Maksym Derkach, (Advanced Forward/Shadow Striker), Southampton) our leading scorer from last season, had his loan extended for the season
    • Maksym is a top tier striker at this level and should easily have another successful campaign for us after bagging 20 goals last campaign
  • Murilo Silva Costa, (RCB, West Ham) joined us on loan
    • Murilo is a 6'7" colossus at Center Back and should provide both depth and a set-piece threat
  • Jamal Baptiste (Libero, West Ham), joined us on a free after spending last season on loan with us
    • Jamal spent most of his time providing depth at RCB in his first season, but should compete with Kaelan Casey for Libero duties this season as his skillset (14 passing, 13 vision, etc) fit well with the demands of the Libero role.
  • Gareth Parrott (Advanced Forward) joined on a free from Melbourne City FC in Australia
    • Gareth is an exciting young talent, but should spend his first season or two on loan
  • Styrmir Bjornsson (LCB) joined for 150k from Vikingur in Iceland
    • Styrmir is another colossus at 6'6" that should prove to be a solid depth option for us who can threaten on set-pieces. He's also left-footed, giving us a natural fit at LCB.
  • Larson Ferati (Advanced Forward, Porto), joined us on a free
    • Larson will spend a season on loan before being ready for first-team football
  • Michael Wright (Carrilero, Stoke) joined us on a free
    • Michael's skillset makes him a natural fit in our Carrilero role and provide depth
  • Luka Klanac (Advanced Forward) joined us on a free from Genoa in Serie A
    • Luka, while exciting, will likely spend his first season on loan
  • Christos Georgiadis (Shadow Striker) joined us on a free from Burnley
    • Christos will also likely spend his first season with us on loan

 

With that, we enter 2028/2029 with the following depth chart:

 

  • Goalkeeper: Jacob Knightbridge (24), Cameron Gregory (28)
    • Jacob is definitely our #1 and should remain with the club as a cup keeper even if we gain promotion in the future
    • Cameron is a depth option who has been with us since the National League and will likely be soldl/released in the coming years. That said, he's perfectly capable of playing as our cup keeper for another season

 

Darren Rye, a Key Player for the Beach Boys

 

  • Right Center Back: Darren Rye* (21), Murilo Silva Costa (20)
    • Darren Rye enjoyed a very fruitful loan at Fleetwood (League Two) last year. He's got loads of quality, and with some development could be able to make the jump to the Premier League some day. Definitely a key member of our team going forward.
    • Murilo - see above
  • Libero: Kaelan Casey (24), Jamal Baptiste (25)
    • Both players are very viable options for this role at this level, although I do have some doubts about their abilities to grow beyond where they are and produce at the Premier League level.
    • Since they are both around the same ability, I'd expect both to be used on a rotational basis. Casey is our Captain, though, and gets the nod for that reason.
  • Left Center Back: Elkan Baggott (26), Styrmir Björnsson (21)
    • Baggott is another in the 6'5"+ mould, with a 17 jumping reach and 15 heading. He's a bona-fide set piece threat, although I doubt he'll progress much more as a player and should likely be considered a very low-end Championship player or high-end League One player.
      • Baggott is an Indonesian international, though, so his price remains decent and we should see a healthy profit if ever sold
    • Bjornsson - see above
  • Right Wing Back: Joel Shone (20), James Renshaw (19)
    • Shone is a stud, capable of playing both RWB and RCB for us. He's a New Zealand international, and should be capable of growing quite a bit beyond his current abilities. He's definitely capable of making the Premier League jump down the road, and should be considered a key player going forward.
    • Renshaw is a bit of a project player. He's young and capable of playing RCB for us. We'd ideally like to retrain him as a RWB to take advantage of his athleticism and work rate (15). He's currently an awkward fit at RWB, but we feel he can grow in that role.
      • As for his long term capabilities, I suppose it depends on how well he adapts to the RWB role. His skillset and stature don't really line up with our long term aims at CB (tall, set piece threats), but he has the potential ability to be a very decent player if he develops quickly enough.

 

Nathaniel Ogbeta, our starting LWB

 

  • Left Wing Back: Nathaniel Ogbeta* (27), Regan Clayton (24)
    • Ogbeta is a beast. He was likely the most productive LWB we'd ever had, chipping in 4 goals and 7 assists in his first season. While his age is a concern for long-term viability, we'd certainly love to have him around as long as we can keep him. He's a very, very good LWB at the Championship level, and could likely be a low-end Premier League option if the club were to be promoted. For this reason, he's a key player despite his age.
    • Clayton is a bit of a wild card- a player who joined us in the National League who performed very well in League Two before having a dip in form in League One. We loaned him out last season, and he continued mixed form at League One side Chesterfield.
      • Despite this, we sold off our backup LWB (Jackson),meaning Clayton was our best option as the new backup. He's still young and could grow, and he's got the physical attributes to be a solid player at this level. Whether the technical and mental sides of the game ever catch up remains to be seen.
  • Carrilero: Michael Wright (22), Delano McCoy-Splatt (24), Regan Booty (30)
    • Wright is a player lacking pace, but who makes up for it in nearly every other necessary category. If we can grow his pace to a respectable level, he could be a rock-solid Championship CM. I'm unsure about his ability to make the leap to Premier League, but we'll see.
    • McCoy and Booty are similar players in that they are very versatile members of our team, capable of providing depth in key positions. They can both play either midfield role at a decent-enough level, and both offer cover at Wing back (Booty on the left, McCoy on the right). I don't think either will be part of our long-term plans, but both should suffice as solid depth options for this year.

 

George Earthy, our Box to Box midfielder

 

  • Box to Box: George Earthy* (24), Josh Robinson (24)
    • Earthy was easily our signing of the season last year, chipping in 6 goals and 9 assists. He's a very solid option at either BBM or SS, and would be a starter for most Championship sides. I'd expect him to be a big part of our future going forward, as he has the potential to grow to be a Premier League depth option at CM. Key player, for sure.
    • Robinson is a beast who has been with us since the National League. He's developed from a CB to a CM, He's our current Vice Captain who brings crunching tackles and a tireless work rate to the table. He's a decent option at the Championship level, and though I have some doubts about his ability to make the jump to the Premier League, I do think he's capable of continuing his growth and surprising me. Important player, easily.

 

Daniele Quieto, our Venezuelan Shadow Striker

 

  • Shadow Striker: Daniele Quieto* (23), Ben Roberts (19)
    • Quieto was a diamond-in-the-rough found during a scouting trip to Venezuela. He had 10 goal contributions (8 goals, 2 assists) last year, and will be a very important player for us this campaign. His physical attributes + his ability to play both SS and AF for us make him very valuable, and I think he's capable of growing into a depth option for a Premier League side if given the right opportunities. Key player.
    • Ben Roberts is a name you likely haven't heard in this Career so far, but what a player! He's our first academy product to be remotely First-Team quality, and I look forward to seeing him grow. I don't feel he's fully ready for the Championship, but I also wasn't able to secure a League Two or higher loan for him….so here we go!
  • False Nine: Charlie Sweeting (21), Flynn Clarke (26)
    • Two very similar players, albeit with diverging paths. Both bring a near identical skillset and attribute list to the table, but Sweeting has been producing just. a bit more and has the higher potential, earning him the nod. Both can play Shadow Striker, as well.
    • Sweeting has the potential to maybe develop into a fringe Premier League player in the future, but Clarke is near the end of his development and will likely be moved in the coming years.
  • Advanced Forward: Maksym Derkach (23), Kion Etete (27)
    • Derkach is a loanee, but a stud. See above description.
    • Etete is a weird player, likely better suited as a Target Man on Support, but with a skillset that seems to produce better as an Advanced Forward. I'm going to say he's likely a low-end Championship player or a high-end League One Player, but should be around us for a while barring an unexpected promotion.

 

On average, our squad is still a low-end Championship side with some League One talents sprinkled throughout. That said, we've got familiarity within the squad and a system that seems to overachieve, so I like our chances to repeat a mid-table finish. 

 

How will we do? Find out next time…

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season 7.2 - First Half of the Season (2028/2029)

 

Concord Rangers

Sky Bet Championship

 

Let's begin with the Preseason:

 

We suffered our FIRST EVER LOSS in Preseason! Oxford (coached by Eddie Howe, for some reason) beat us convincingly 3-1 at our own ground to open up our Preseason training! The League One side would surely be happy with that result.

 

We'd then stumble to a 1-1 draw vs a League Two side in Southend before reeling off 5 straight wins vs League One/Two sides:

  • 2-0 vs Wycombe
  • 3-2 vs Charlton
  • 3-1 vs Wigan
  • 6-4 vs Portsmouth
  • 3-1 vs Yeovil

 

Followed this decent, but uninspired preseason, we moved on to our Regular Season. Goals from Maksym Derkach and Daniele Quieto led us to a 2-1 win over Sheffield United on opening day before we limped to a penalty shootout win over League Two side Sutton. Our Cup GK, Cameron Gregory, was the hero, stopping two penalties to send us through to the Carabao Cup Second Round.

 

We'd triumph 3-0 over Reading (Sweeting x 2, Baggott 1) before dropping 4 straight, including:

  • 1-4 loss to Brentford, despite winning the xG battle 1.58 - 1.08
  • 1-1 penalty loss to Leicester in the Carabao Cup Second Round
  • 0-2 loss to Hull in which we had 67% of possession, but failed to capitalize
  • 0-3 loss to League-Leaders Middlesbrough, despite winning the xG battle again

 

So despite the run of poor results, I had faith. After all, we'd been arguably the better side in most of the games, just needed to be a bit more clinical to improve our results.

 

early-season form

 

Improve we would, as we'd go on a 8-match unbeaten run that included:

  • 1-0 win over Coventry (Quieto)
  • 2-0 win over Fulham (Quieto, Derkach)
  • 2-0 win over Leicester (Quieto, Derkach)
  • 2-1 win over Ipswich (Etete x2)
  • 2-0 win over Sunderland (Clarke, Derkach)
  • 1-1 draw with Bolton (Derkach)
  • 3-0 win over Luton (Earthy, Silva Costa, Roberts)
  • 3-0 win over Peterborough (Casey, Sweeting, Etete)

 

Our run would come to a halt with a pair of losses (0-1 to Derby, 3-4 to Leeds), but we still felt confident as we were the better side vs Derby and simply faced a bigger and better team in Leeds.

 

We'd finish November on a 3-game win streak with:

  • 1-0 win over QPR (Quieto)
  • 1-0 win over Cardiff (Sweeting)
  • 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest (Etete, Quieto)

 

This would leave us 2nd in the table, trailing only Middlesbrough!!!

 

December, however, would prove to be worrisome as we would have our poorest run of form yet. This included:

  • 0-1 loss to Birmingham (simply outplayed)
  • 2-0 win over Swansea (Derkach x 2)
  • 2-3 loss to West Brom (Clayton, Clarke) in which we were thoroughly outplayed and fortunate to get two goals
  • 0-0 draw to Huddersfield
  • 1-1 draw to Blackburn (Clarke) in which we dominated xG and possession but were unfortunate
  • 1-1 draw to Swansea (Roberts), dominated xG and possession but were unfortunate
  • 0-3 loss to Leicester (thoroughly outplayed)

 

more form

 

This run of form would drop us to 5th entering January, where leading man Maksym Derkach was recalled from his loan by Southampton. Regan Booty also asked to leave due to limited playing time, and despite my love for the Booty - he was sold to Fleetwood for 130k.

 

To counter this, we'd promote youngster Steve Goodman (CM/SS) from the academy/u21s and recall our Striker Luka Klanac from League One side Shrewsbury. With no budget to speak of, we'd have to turn our season around with our existing resources rather than the transfer market…

 

We would go on to lose our next game, as well, 1-2 to Ipswich (Quieto). Despite this, we took solace in dominating both xG and possession and felt we could turn things around in January.

 

We'd finish up our first half by drawing 2-2 in the FA Cup Third Round vs Luton (Etete, Roberts), earning a replay in two week's time.

 

For the year so far, our form players have been Rye, Casey, Robinson, and Ogbeta as expected, with Quieto leading our goalscorer.

 

Puerto Rico

102nd in World Rankings 

 

El Huracån Azul would enter 2028 with their highest-ever ranking (under my watch) of 102nd! We'd scheduled some ambitious friendlies against Canada, Panama, Syria, and Trinidad and Tobago that provided opportunity to rise in the World Rankings, and we'd also be facing off against the Bahamas in World Cup Qualification.

 

Let's get it started!

 

We'd open it up with a 1-3 loss (Alec Diaz) to a heavily-favored Canada side (45th ranked), but we felt solid leaving this game after out-possessing (57%) and nearly equaling Canada's xG output.

 

We'd respond with a 3-3 draw (Diaz x 2, Kevin Hernandez) vs 81st-ranked Panama, which led to our ranking dropping to 103rd. No worries.

 

2028 results

 

We'd respond with a 6-0 aggregate win over the Bahamas in World Cup Qualification, highlighted by goals from 6 different players (Jesus Cabrera, Alec Diaz, Nicolas Cardona, Kevin Hernandez, Leandro Antonetti, and Matt James on his debut). 

 

This would lead us into a friendly vs 68th-ranked Syria, where we'd triumph 3-2 after goals from Alec Diaz and Kevin Hernandez (x2).

 

2028 best 11

 

We'd carry that momentum in our final game of the year, a Caribbean showdown with 95th ranked Trinidad and Tobago. We'd comfortably beat the Soca Warriors (who featured a former Beach Boy in LB Ronald Noray) 6-1 in a game that featured three braces for Kevin Hernandez, Alec Diaz, and Matt James.

 

These results saw us jump into 100th place, our highest ever ranking under my watch! We'd begun to encorporate the next generation of El Huracån Azul, and felt as though the future was bright. 

 

Kevin Hernandez, our player of the year for 2028

Looking ahead:

 

Concord: 5th in the Championship in January

Puerto Rico: continuing World Cup Qualification vs Suriname

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season 7.3 - Second Half of the Season (2028/2029)

 

Concord Rangers

5th in Sky Bet Championship as of January

 

We pick up where we left off - 5th in the Championship as of January 10th. We're in the middle of a 3-in-a-row series vs Luton, where we played them in the FA Cup (2-2 draw), league, and FA Cup replay.

 

The league match would go well, with Kion Etete bagging a brace in the starting Striker role - a role he would be in for the remainder of the season after the departure of Derkach (recalled by Southampton). 

 

Kion Etete, our Leading man after Derkach's departure. He's a weird fit, but produces the goods.

 

We'd then lose the third game against Luton 0-2 and crash out of the FA Cup in the third round as a result.

 

Our January would conclude on a positive note, as we'd draw Bolton 2-2 (Etete, Shone) and beat John Terry's Peterborough 4-1 away (Etete x 2, Earthy, Rye).

 

February would see mixed form, including:

  • 3-1 win vs Derby (Wright, Clarke x 2)
  • 0-2 loss to Hull where we had 70% possession and won the xG battle, but were unlucky
  • 3-4 loss to Middlesbrough (Bjornsson, Roberts, Etete) in which we were simply outplayed
  • 1-1 draw to Fulham (Roberts)
  • 2-1 win over Sunderland (Etete, Quieto)
  • 0-0 draw to Leeds in which we won both possession and xG battles, but could not find the back of the net

 

2029 form

 

Unfortunately for us, the Leeds game would be the beginning of a 10-game stretch where we'd register only a single win. Results included:

  • 1-3 loss to QPR (thoroughly outplayed)
  • 1-1 draw to Cardiff
  • 1-2 loss to Reading (70% possession, but couldn't score enough)
  • 1-1 draw to Sheffield United (lucky to draw, they were much better)
  • 3-0 win over Coventry
  • 5-6 loss to Brentford (what a game, though!!!)
  • 1-1 draw to Nottingham Forest
  • 1-3 loss to West Brom (dominated this game and they managed to score 3 goals on .52 xG)
  • 1-3 loss to Huddersfield (dominated this game and had over 4 xG, yet only scored once)

 

Our form would drop us out of playoff contention, but we'd find solace in our final two games:

  • 2-1 win over Birmingham (Earthy, Robinson)
  • 2-1 win over Blackburn (Earthy, Etete)

 

final table in 2028-2029

 

A 9th-place finish would await us, and we finished only two points out of the playoffs spots! 9th would represent a new record high for the club, and given our predicted finish of 23rd, I'm happy with it! We'd also kept our tradition of leading the league in fouls and possession, so there's that!

 

There's another graphic I'd like to share to show the disparity we're up against, and that's this wage graphic….

 

 

Lol, right? Look, I'm very, very happy given I'm producing results with a squad of fringe Championship and mid-to-high-level League One players on paltry wages. We're overachieving, and I'm proud of our finishes so far!

 

League Stats for the 2028-2029 season
Best 11 of 2028-2029

 

Season Awards

It was an interesting year for The Beach Boys, with several of our established names retaining their spots in our team of the season. Jacob Knightsbridge (GK), Kaelan Casey (Libero), Nathaniel Ogbeta (LWB), George Earthy (BBM), and Daniele Quieto (SS) all kept their spots in starting 11. Elkan Baggott, Joel Shone, Jamal Baptiste, Josh Robinson, Charlie Sweeting, and Kion Etete all impressed as well, with Ben Roberts, Darren Rye and James Renshaw impressing in expanded roles.

 

Two newcomers joined our team of the year in Styrmir Bjornsson (LCB) and Michael Wright (Carrilero).

 

Our Libero, Casey, continued to be a rock with a 7.08 rating. This was his lowest yet, however, and would be something we'd need to keep an eye on as we looked to advance our team into the future.

 

Kion Etete would take home our Player of the season award after scoring 22 goals to lead the team, with Darren Rye wining our Young Player of the season and Michael Wright being our Signing of the Season.  Daniele Quieto would chip in 9 goals, with Charlie Sweeting scoring 8 and Derkach scoring 7 before being recalled. Nathaniel Ogbeta would lead us in assists for a second straight season, registering 10 assists across all competitions.

 

Records would be broken, too! Etete's 4 goals in a game would be the most ever by a Concord player in any match! Paulo Goncalves, our 16-year-old academy product at LWB, would also break the club record for Youngest Player at 16 years, 204 days.

 

We'd move into 2029/30 with optimism and hopes that our next campaign would bring Playoff Football.

 

Puerto Rico

100th in World Rankings

 

The order of business for El Huracån Azul: World Cup Qualification for a second straight World Cup!

 

We would take care of business vs Suriname in our Qualification round matches, albeit in less-than-convincing fashion:

  • 4-0 win at home (Leandro Antonetti, Kevin Hernandez x 2, Alejandro Rabell)
  • 2-3 defeat away (Kevin Hernandez x 2)

 

We'd then get our draw for the group stage of our qualification…..USA (10th), Canada (47th), and El Salvador (87th). Absolutely brutal. I feel we can beat El Salvador with relative ease, but will need to overcome one of the other sides to go through and qualify. 

 

Our first match: USA

 

We would be thoroughly dominated in this game, with USA starting a very solid starting 11. We would only muster two shots on target all game, and gave up a  74th minute penalty to fall to a 1-0 defeat. Despite the friendly scoreline, we saw an xG disparity of over 2+, so I feel we were fortunate to even be in the game.

 

Our next match: Canada

 

True to our last game against Canada (a 1-3 friendly defeat), we came out and dominated possession rather easily as they looked to hit us on the counter. The game was mostly uneventful, with our side taking a number of speculative shots and Canada workin their chances well to dominate the xG in the first half.

 

In the second half we would adjust our strategy to minimize Canada's dangerous players (David and Davies), and would see their xG output drop dramatically as a result. We would finally find a break in the 73rd minute, with 32-year-old Ricardo Rivera scoring a headed goal after a short-throw routine was worked to perfection. 1-0 win to us!!!!

 

 

Despite the win, we would finish our campaign (for now) in 3rd place behind USA and Canada. Big games are ahead, though, and we've jumped up to 99th place after our hard-earned results!

 

Looking ahead:

 

Concord: Starting 3rd season in Sky Bet Championship

 

Puerto Rico: Gold Cup and World Cup Qualification, currently ranked 99th in the world

 

Feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings.

spacexaddy
2 years ago
1 day ago
15
Premium

Season 8.1 - The Offseason and Season Preview

 

Concord Rangers

Sky Bet Championship - Third Season

 

We've survived two seasons in the Championship! What awaits us in our third season?

 

Change is coming, with our newly-constructed stadium “The Concord Stadium” doubling our capacity from 5,500-ish to 10,309! This will surely bring in some additional revenue via ticket sales and potential sponsorships, so hopefully we can actually spend some money for a change!

 

Our board seemingly feels the same way, as they have provided us with a healthy transfer budget of 4m! Oh and our facilities now stand at:

  • Average Corporate Facilities
  • Average Training Facilities
  • Average Youth Facilities
  • Youth Level: 3
  • Exceptional Academy Coaching
  • Average Youth Recruitment

 

As always, we start with departures:

  • Long-standing cup keeper Cameron Gregory (who had been with us since the National League) left to join Cardiff as their cup keeper for 28k
  • LWB Regan Clayton, who'd also been with us since the National League, left to join Livingston for 300k. He'd performed decently at the Championship level, but we felt he'd maxed out his potential and the time was right.
  • Delano McCoy-Splatt, who'd been moved to a more reserve role in the last couple of seasons, was bought by Sheffield Wednesday for 525k.
  • Flynn Clarke, who'd become a squad player over the last couple of seasons, was bought by newly-promoted Oxford for 600k
  • Larson Ferati, who'd spent the last season out on loan, was bought by Portuguese side Feirense for 450k
  • Christos Georgiadis, who'd also been out on loan, was bought by Sheffield Wednesday for 375k.
  • Luka Klanac, who'd spent the last year partially on loan and was recalled to make 12 appearances in the Championship, was sold to French side AC Ajaccio for 575k
  • we'd also let several academy and u21 players go out on loan, with the most notable being Ben Roberts (our academy product who played 21 times for us last season) being loaned to League One side Bristol Rovers.
  • several other academy players were let go as their contracts expired

 

With those departures, we'd gained another 2.8m! And that figure is all NET PROFIT, given we brought every one of those players in on free transfers. Not bad, and plenty to use in our quest to rise up the tables.

 

To Incomings:

  • We extended the loan of Murilo Silva Costa (West Ham) for another year, as he performed very well in our system as a RCB.
  • We brought in Danai Missin (6'4" strong CB from Man Utd) on a free transfer
    • We plan to let Danai develop in our u21s and potentially spend time on loan
  • Kashim Whiteman (striker, Liverpool) was brought in on a free transfer
    • Another loanee/u21 development project
  • Jasmijn Resink (CM) was bought on a free from Feyenoord
    • Jasmijn can fill both the Box to Box and Carrilero roles for us, and will slot in our midfield as a replacement for Delano McCoy Splatt. 
    • I'm very intrigued by his athleticism of 16 pace, 16 acceleration in our midfield
  • Jack Caldwell (CB/RB), was brought in from Man City on a free.
    • Jack is a bit short to play CB for us, but we like his skillset as a potential RWB. He mirrors another Man City academy player we've got in our team already by the name of James Renshaw.
    • He'll spend time on loan or developing in our u21s
  • Christopher Marzocchi (CM) on a free from Salernitana in Italy
    • another u21/loan prospect
  • Sven Nijs (Shadow Striker) on a free from Belgian side KV Kortrijk
    • another u21/loan prospect
  • Kian Awadh (GK) on a free from Southampton
    • Kian will immediately fill the void left by Cameron Gregory as our Cup GK

 

And the big-money signings (for us)….

  • 500k for 19-year-old GK Eber Benavides from Tigres in Mexico
    • Eber is rock-solid, but will need to spend some time on loan to develop into our leading GK
  • 650k for 18-year-old RWB Arne Gunnar Sylstad from Viking in Norway
    • Arne is also solid, could likely be a depth option on our existing roster. We'll likely loan him out for a year or two to develop, though.

 

  • Daniel Paez (450k, Deportivo Tachira in Venezuela) continued our string of Venezuelan purchases and would join countryman Daniele Quieto in the attack.
    • Paez will definitely be part of our attack in the upcoming season, and looks to slot in as our starting False 9 right away.
    • At 19 years-old, he should be one for the future, too.

 

 

  • Matteo Chirulli (600k from Juventus' academy) would represent our future at LWB, as he is only 18 years old.
    • Matteo is a stud and will definitely compete with Ogbeta for our starting LWB spot this season.

 

  • Carlos Seco (825k from Malaga) represents our club-record signing! He made 35 appearances in La Liga last year, so should find no trouble adjusting to the Championship. 
    • at 22, he's a bit older than we'd like. That said, he should be a vital part of our team for years to come.
    • He should immediately slot into our attack and can capably fill Shadow Striker, False 9,  or Advanced Forward roles

 

And finally, we'd recalled Graham Dodds to be our backup striker behind Kion Etete. Dodds had spent the last two seasons out on loan at League One sides Shrewsbury and Wrexham.

 

With that, our 2029/2039 depth chart:

 

  • Goalkeeper: Jacob Knightbridge (25), Kian Awadh (22)
    • Two quality options capable of providing low-end Championship/high end League One quality 
  • Right Center Back: Darren Rye (22), Murilo Silva Costa (21)
    • Same depth as last year! Rye is a very solid CB who starts for most Championship sides. He's a big part of our future and capable of making the jump to the Premier League one day.
    • Murilo is a stud and we're lucky to have him on loan
  • Libero: Kaelan Casey (24), Jamal Baptiste (25)
    • The former Hammers return as our Liberos! Both are low-end Championship quality, with Casey being our leader and captain for several seasons.
    • I'm still not sure about their long-term viability, but they should do just fine for another season in the Championship
  • Left Center Back: Elkan Baggott (26), Styrmir Björnsson (21)
    • Both are giants in the mold of our ideal CBs (6'5" +). Both are high-end League One players at this time, but have performed well at the Championship level.
    • This is definitely one of our target areas for future improvement.
  • Right Wing Back: Joel Shone (21), James Renshaw (20)
    • Very solid, very young options. Both will be part of our plans for the foreseeable future as rock-solid players in the defensive mold we like on the right side.
  • Left Wing Back: Nathaniel Ogbeta (28), Matteo Chirulli (18)
    • Ogbeta retains the starting role for now, as he's very good at this level and has produced for us very well over the last two years.
    • Chirulli (see above) is definitely the LWB of the future, though.

 

Michael Wright, our Carrilero

 

  • Carrilero: Michael Wright (22), Jasmijn Resink (23), Josh Robinson (24)
    • Wright developed very well in his first season, becoming one of our most consistent players. He's a bit slow for our liking, but plays the Carrilero role well and has room to grow. He's the unquestioned leader here.
    • Resink should be a very good backup option who brings pace and athleticism.
    • Robinson has been with us since the National League and seven as our Vice Captain. A defensive powerhouse, but maybe a player who has reached the end of his Concord run due to his limited capacity to grow beyond his current (low-end Championship) level.
  • Box to Box: George Earthy (24), Jasmijn Resink (23), Josh. Robinson (24)
    • Resink and Robinson appear twice due to their flexibility to play either role very well
    • Earthy is the leader here and might be capable of being a low-end Premier League player one day. Definitely a key player for us.
  • Shadow Striker: Carlos Seco (22), Daniele Quieto (23)
    • Two exciting, pacy, talented players. Seco takes the lead here due to his record fee and higher ceiling.
    • Quieto is very, very decent and could potentially make the jump as a low-end Premier League player. He's currently an average Championship player, but produces very well and can fill a variety of roles.
  • False Nine: Daniel Paez (19), Charlie Sweeting (21)
    • Paez brings a lot of talent to the position and we're very excited for him.
    • Sweeting is a stalwart who has produced consistently for seasons. I do worry, though, that his time with us is coming to an end due to limited technical and athletic prowess. That said, his mental side of the game is very impressive, and I expect him to fight for his role this season.
  • Advanced Forward: Kion Etete (27), Graham Dodds (23)
    • Similar players in that both are physical bruisers at the AF position. Etete scored 20+ for us a season ago, and although I consider him low-end Championship quality, he continues to impress and exceed expectations.
    • Dodds should be a quality depth option, and I feel the time is right to test him out and see if he can overachieve like Etete. He's likely a high-end League One quality, but I'm going to give him a chance.

 

On average, I'd say we're still mostly low-to-mid quality in the Championship….but our new additions could see us make up those missing points and push for a spot in the Playoffs.

 

Puerto Rico

99th in World Rankings, Playing the Gold Cup

 

El Huracån Azul would be feeling good about themselves after an impressive victory over Canada! We'd need that energy, as our Gold Cup group would include Guadeloupe, Jamaica (40th), and El Salvador (87th).

 

First up: Guadeloupe

 

We would dominate Guadeloupe, holding them to a paltry .26 xG in a comfortable 2-0 win. Alejandro Rabell and Isaac Anking would score the goals to put us top of the Group after one game.

 

Next up: Jamaica

 

Our toughest opponents in the group, Jamaica, would also be the most experienced. They fielded a team with former Hammer Reece Oxford and former Villa man Leon Bailey, and would present a very solid challenge for our team. 

 

We would dominate possession in the early goings, with Jamaica looking to hit us on the counter. Kevin Hernandez scored on the stroke of halftime to give us a 1-0 lead at the break, which we would double through Alec Diaz in the 66th.

 

All would come undone, however, as Niall Ennis scored twice in the 73rd and 75th (both reviewed by VAR for offside) to level the score. It would finish 2-2, with Jamaica seeing the better xG but El Huracån Azul holding 67% of the possession.

 

Final Group Opponents: El Salvador

 

We wanted to make a statement in this game, with El Salvador also appearing in our World Cup qualification group. We came out aggressively and dominated both possession and xG, holding them to only a single shot all game. Star man Kevin Hernandez would score in the 66th to break the tie open, and we'd go on to win by the same scoreline.

 

 

With that we were through to the Quarter Finals! We'd topped our group ahead of Jamaica and earned a game against…..Mexico (sigh)….for our efforts.

 

Quarter Final: Mexico (24th ranked)

 

This game….well, it went about how you'd expect. We actually somehow won the possession battle, but only mustered a single shot on target all game.

 

Mexico, meanwhile, racked up 37 total shots (12 on target) to constantly put us under heavy pressure. Our GK, Gilberto Martinez, made miraculous save after miraculous save (12 total) to keep us in the game.

 

In the 88th minute, Mexico would finally get their much-deserved goal and take a 1-0 win over El Huracån Azul. We would leave the tournament with our heads held high, though, as we rose in the World Rankings all the way to 91st!

 

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Concord: Beginning our third season in the Championship!

 

Puerto Rico: 91st ranked entering the remainder of our World Cup qualification

 

As always, feel free to drop in the stream (or throw me a follow) at https://www.twitch.tv/spacexaddy! I typically stream FM (this save, in particular) Sunday evenings…..although I will be taking today off. Look for the stream next Sunday, 2/5, at the normal time!

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