Michael Hopcroft

Portland -- Where to begin?

6 posts in this topic

Here's my more specific question regarding my start, and perhaps someone could tell me how I should have done it.

My hometown team is the Portland Timbers of MLS. The new update starts with Kris Boyd on the active roster and Kenny Cooper gone. My initial way of thinking was to pick up a solid backliner in the transfer market as the "last piece" to build a playoff team. I haven't gotten to the regular season but my first two friendlies were not encouraging. I want to train in fitness and tactics but am not quite sure how to go about it.

Would it have been better to stand pat in the transfer market? What sort of tactical training should I give my current players? Are there good free agents and how do I find them? What sort of system best fits my personnel?

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Never ever judge your team on your friendlies. They aren't match fit, aren't used to your formation, and are not used to playing with each other. Play a few more games before you make judgements of your team. In terms of shopping for players, looking at your team report is a good place to start finding areas of your team in need of improvement.

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Would it have been better to stand pat in the transfer market?

Depends. As Canaries Fan said, take a look at the team report and see where you rank compared to what you want to achieve. Generally though it's not recommended to go overboard with new signings but strengthening and reshaping a bit is good and in some cases necessary to avoid complacency.

What sort of tactical training should I give my current players?

Have their Match Preparation on very high and teamwork until the bars get somewhere near full. Then go match to match basis.

Are there good free agents and how do I find them?

Depends on your database and scouting range. Your scouts should come to you with recommendations and I reckon in MLS you'll hear from plenty of agents offering their players. Can go manually through player search and filter 'contract status - expired' as well.

What sort of system best fits my personnel?

You'll have to give more information about your personnel I'm afraid. A screenshot of team report and a couple of the players you consider to be key would help for a start.

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Michael, how do you want your team to play? For me, when I'm the team I support, Nottingham Forest, I like to play a quick passing game. As that's how I like to watch football. However, different teams have different set ups or can suit different set ups. Heath, one of the mods in the Tactics & Training Forum says it's easier to build a tactic, then to buy players for no tactic. He buys players who may not be world beaters, but once he puts them in to his tactic, they become better than the so called world beaters. Basically, I'd look to build your tactic, and then find and buy players to fit into that tactic instead of the other way round.

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The real Timbers played in a 4-4-2 with most of the offense coming from the midfield. Their best player last season was central midfielder Jack Jewsbury, who led the team in assists. The Timbers very rarely scored in the run of play, though, and got almost everything on free kicks and corners.

All I really ask for my back four is to play smarter than their real-life counterparts did in 2011 and not give up silly goals like they did in the early part of that season especially. I have a decent goalkeeper in Troy Perkins but he isn't having a good start in the friendlies for me (giving up three to lowly Montreal). I have a solid striker in Kris Boys but early on he seems out of the offensive flow. I don't really know where my goals or my stops are going to come from.

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Assuming nothing has changed in the recent DB update, look for these 4 Brazilian free agents:

Leumir (DR that I always convert to RM)

Carlos Andre (solid, young striker with good pace. If your coaches recommend training him to try and beat the offsides trap DO IT)

Danilo Rios (creative midfielder that can fill in at LM if needed)

Danilo Ferreira (DC that is solid, if not great)

All 4 players formed the heart of my Vancouver squad and eventually took up playing for the Canadian national team (you'll have to remove Rios and Leumir's "declared for nation" status first.) Play a basic 4-4-2 with one midfielder barrowing back on defense to DM. Keep the backs on defensive duties (full defend for the DCs, outside backs to the first defensive notch) and limit their going forward. Midfielders generally stick to the middle settings for crosses, run with ball, etc., but the forwards are set to run with the ball often and shoot from distance rarely.

Boyd shouldn't have too much difficulty after a few games, and try to schedule as many friendlies as you can before the season starts (I usually go with 8-10) against the weakest American squads to help boost your team's morale going into the season.

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