Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
Timetxu

[FM 20] Assuming All American Whiskey is Bourbon is a Cardinal Mistake

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

INTRODUCTION

Oh yes, baby. After having dabbled away for far too long in FM18 and skipping 19, I've gone and decided to install FM20 on my pc on life support. Stubbornness is a hell of a condition.

One of the first mods I always install whenever I want to get acquainted with the new possibilities FM has to offer, it's the mindblowingly comprehensive and true-to-life accuracy of @Uncle_Sam's USA Real Life Expansion file. Words cannot express the pleasure I've had over the years playing in his files, so I thought it would be a great idea to return from lurking in the shadows by using his file.

Seriously, though. Check it out over here.

---

For those of you who do not know: yes, I'm European, but I love American sports. Not just the sports themselves, but also their wacky league structures of inbalanced schedules, drafts and salary caps. In every big league, they've managed to set up a selfsustaining system of colleges, who take up the responsibility of being the de facto academies for the professional teams. Now, if there's one league system that's wackier than wack, it's the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Oh yes, we're going to college.

ab973874dbf22909fe9251b90561081d.png

b0851af0fe23622866963d396255b76a.png

c75187755d6a048ff4bdadc52529399f.png

We're in Kentucky, the state renowned for producing around 95% of all Bourbon. And more specifically: we're in Louisville. Not the state capitol, but it is the biggest city of Kentucky. A city well known for it's ridiculously flamboyant horse race (the Kentucky Derby) and also the city where one of the tyres on my rental car decided to call it a day during my trip through the US last summer. While trying to find a solution at the nearby gas station, calling an inaudible callcenter employee alongside a noisy road, I was able to overlook the soccer (I know, but I'll just stick to this to avoid any confusing with the team that plays in the 60.000 seat stadium across the road) complex of the university. They stuck in the back of my mind and when I picked up playing FM with a college soccer save, I decided to pick them as the fortunate ones.

THE STRUCTURE

For those of you unfamiliar with college sports in the USA, there's no real clear structured league where all teams compete in. There is a postseason where the best universities attempt to crown the national title, but for the most part of the season, you're playing games within a conference that your university simply has an allegiance with. In our case, that's the Atlantic Coast Conference, or the ACC: a conference with twelve universities, mostly from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

0bcc6567513d2f309329da6fcb36dcd3.png

These are our most common foes. Every year, we'll play all the teams in our Group once and three of the six teams in the other group once as well for a total of eight conference games. Mind you, the groups are fixed, so we'll always face Boston College, Clemson, NC State, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The other three teams rotate every year.

At the end of the season (which, by the way, runs during the fall only, ie August to December), all teams will actually qualify for the ACC Conference Tournament. Final standings determine the seedings however. The winner of the tournament qualifies for the NCAA Tournament. Which basically is the National Tournament.

Confused yet? It gets better. The NCAA Tournament consists of 48 teams. However, there's only 24 conferences. This means that 24 other colleges who did not win their conference championship will receive "at-large picks". In American college sports, there are committees consisting of former coaches, players and journalists that rank all the teams on a weekly basis. They will always have a say in which teams qualify for the postseason. This sounds ridiculously unfair, but that's just how it works. Luckily for the college soccer universe, 48 of a total of 206 colleges get into the tournament. So if you're having a good season, chances are big you're getting in.

A way for colleges to make sure that the selection committee chooses them for the NCAA Tournament, is by playing well in the season. However, with only 8 conference games and a tournament, that's pretty hard. That's why, in real life, colleges plan non-conference games: games against universities from other conferences which they can then beat and turn some heads. @Uncle_Sam has found a way to replicate this. Every season, all 206 teams get automatically distributed over 20 different invisible groups of 10/11 teams. This ensures that we will have an additional nine or ten regular season games. In real life, these games are designed to raise your status. As this could not be replicated one-on-one in FM, I believe that Uncle_Sam has edited the file that the best three teams (conference champions excluded) from all of these 20 different groups get to the NCAA Tournament.

Yeah, it's wacky. I warned you. But we'll get back to this. In summary, this will be our first year's schedule:

95c0b66324e2158c55f1d7d50d19a236.png 82b332761676601fa882e8dfb37d5d5a.png

So basically it's August, September and October for our regular season schedule, November for our conference tournament and December for the NCAA Tournament.

THE CHALLENGE

As we'll be the head coach of a college team, we'll obviously have to work with age restrictions. Players can only be registered if they're between 19 and 23 years old. All players will be on an amateur contract too. However, something big has to come along for them to just go and leave our club, as the players in this file aren't very happy to move teams.

The only way for us to get new players, is by recruiting them either from other colleges (yes, it occasionally happens that players transfer schools) or by getting them from the US Soccer Development Academy. This was a real-life, 83 team league for the last thirteen years, where the country's best u-17 players could gain experience before going to a college. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 crisis, this league has officially folded in real life in the last days. However, it's still in the save and luckily so, because it's the division where new players are generated and most probably the most vital pool to recruit from. I'm not sure, but I don't believe we'll get a youth intake ourselves, so all players that will graduate (that is, all players who will turn 24) will need to be replaced in some sort. The USSDA is our main way of doing that.

So our main goal will be to win the ACC every year, do well in the non-conference games and qualify for the NCAA Tournament so we can try to win that. In real life, Louisville has been pretty much non-existent since their programme start in 1979, but have gone through a revolution in the last thirteen years. Every year since 2007, except for 2015, they have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They have switched conferences (yes, this happens) in 2014 to join the ACC and since then, they have won the conference tournament once, in 2018 (which means we're actually reigning champions). However, Louisville has only reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament once, in 2010, where they lost the final to Akron. We're a college with a lot of potential, but there's still a prize to win. And that's what I'm trying to bring.

Obviously, there's a glass ceiling in this save. Winning the College Cup might become boring after a while, so I'm not ruling out making a step to another American side. But for now I'd like to really build a college dynasty. Another interesting angle to this save is to see if we're able to recruit a player, have him play for us for four years and then get the player drafted into the MLS. And then see how this will player will eventually develop over time. It would be really cool to see if we could one day have a player in our school that might make it to Europe. Who knows.

IN THE NEXT UPDATE

I'll give a quick overview of our team and preseason.

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

PRESEASON

7eea3c41d3df25aa688bfef7ba18f551.png

Kind of a mixed bag. I was pretty scared when I saw that the AI had planned friendlies against two of the best teams in the CONCACAF. Amazingly, we did pretty well against Pumas. The other three games were all against local Louisville sides as most teams snubbed friendly requests.

SQUAD & TRANSFERS

Upon meeting the squad, we had 30 players to our disposal. Because of the age restrictions, the AI has created a squad of players between 19 and 23 at some point during the 2019/2020 season. Unfortunately, four of my players would not turn 19 before the end of the fall season and are therefore uneligible to register. Two of them starting causing some troubles, so despite them being pretty good players, I told them to leave the club. The other two guys kept their mouth shut, but they won't be able to play, so I'm going to see if I can send them out on loan. It's a bit of an annoyance, because it affects the team happiness, but it's hopefully the only year this issue arises.

Then the actual transfers. Four of my players got offered a possibility to play in a "real" league. We replaced them with three guys we managed to snag away from nearby universities. Robbie Hernández was a student at Northern Kentucky, Mani Nguyen and Billy O'Donnell played for different colleges in Indianapolis. It's not my plan to go and get most of my players from other universities as I'd like to keep the game as realistic as possible. However, there were no players in the USSDA yet who have reached the eligible recruiting age. Plus, the three players I managed to get in are all the minimum age of 19 and haven't played for their previous college yet. So for the narrative, let's just say they made up their mind just in time.

One or other thing I've noticed so far, is that players are very reluctant to move to us if they're not either born in the region or are playing in the region. I really love this feature, as it really forces me to look for local players. It does make this challenge a whole lot more difficult, as the biggest city within this region is Indianapolis, which is the 17th largest US city. A far cry from the biggest cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

b0e17486244628a914eaa9574fb74d8a.png

This is more or less the region within players are willing to join us. Everything outside of it is too much hassle for them to relocate.

The actual transfers:

517334783b2837f0b746721c731cc89d.png

As you might have noticed, I've added a description behind the players names to indicate what phase of their studies they're in:

- Freshmen (Fr): Players born in the 1999/2000 season
- Sophomores (So): Players born in the 1998/99 season
- Juniors (Jr): Players born in the 1997/98 season
- Seniors (Sr): Players born in the 1996/97 season

Technically, it would be possible for us to have players who are born in the 1995/1996 season. This would mean that these players would turn 24 somewhere during the season and not be eligible to play anymore. For the sake of the narrative I'll call these players "Redshirt Seniors". The name for players who, for whatever reason, need a fifth year of college.

GOALKEEPERS:

3eeabbbd93a03749f5784c2294411ce5.png

(As you can see, Benjamin Walter has "--" behind his name. He's one of the four players who are not yet eligible to play for us as he's 18. However, he was ok with remaining in the team and wait out the year).

DEFENDERS:

d9fb90e35909bac4ed435e5dba1527a3.png

MIDFIELDERS:

81e4fa0a6338819b181ff44283c5689a.png

STRIKERS:

9d295049d6841f582821438161968189.png

COMING UP:

Our eighteen regular season games run over a period of ten weeks, so that's the rhythm I'll use regarding the updates. Week one will be the one game where we'll travel to Albany for our first non-conference game.

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems a very interesting save idea. I will make sure to follow it.

It would be fun to track your university graduates, if and when, they will get drafted into the MLS. I wonder if it would be possible to replicate a program like Kentucky, which consistently get its hands on NBA talents. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, zethani said:

This seems a very interesting save idea. I will make sure to follow it.

It would be fun to track your university graduates, if and when, they will get drafted into the MLS. I wonder if it would be possible to replicate a program like Kentucky, which consistently get its hands on NBA talents. 

Thanks for following along!

Following the players after getting drafted is definitely one of the things I look forward to in this save!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is fantastic, @Timetxu! I have garnered a soft spot for American College sports over the past few years after spending some time in the Southern states and I'm currently enjoying how well Alabama have done in the NFL superdraft.

I've also always wanted to do a proper save in the MLS - but I always get too attached to my sides and the lack of promotion would mean I would, eventually, need to let go! 

I will be following intently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

This is fantastic, @Timetxu! I have garnered a soft spot for American College sports over the past few years after spending some time in the Southern states and I'm currently enjoying how well Alabama have done in the NFL superdraft.

I've also always wanted to do a proper save in the MLS - but I always get too attached to my sides and the lack of promotion would mean I would, eventually, need to let go! 

I will be following intently.

I hope I can help fill that gap :D . Very happy to have you following along!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 1

We kick off the season with our first non-conference game. This one against America East side Albany.

ALBANY 0-1 LOUISVILLE

SHOTS 12
ON TARGET 6
57% POSSESSION 43%
0.9
EXPECTED GOALS 1.6 

deb913cbff5fe096fc05cc587a019023.png

Nothing flashy here. One of our transfers got a good goal in just after half time. He was pretty upset with me for not having been more active in the transfer market, just days after having signed with us. Hopefully he shuts up now. 

I was pretty amazed when I saw my rival coach at Albany's bench starting subbing all of his players. Apparently I'm allowed to substitute all of my twelve bench players in the NCAA. And not only that: all games will go to golden goal extra time! There are no penalties, so games can still finish in a tie, but this league is madness!

NEXT UP:

In Week 2, we'll receive another non-conference opponent in Charlotte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love this idea. Huge follower of the NBA and I've always thought about how a long term save in the USA would work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, LUFCspeni said:

Love this idea. Huge follower of the NBA and I've always thought about how a long term save in the USA would work.

Glad to have you here :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 2

The only game of our second week is another inter-conference game against Charlotte. It'll be the first time we're playing in Kentucky this season.

LOUISVILLE 1-1 CHARLOTTE (AET)

20 SHOTS 14
11 
ON TARGET 6
51% 
POSSESSION 49%
2.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.4

4d1c48f2f18c07ff41c4eaa96aeedf52.png

Kind of a let down, this one. Rodríguez put us ahead with an absolute screamer, but we lost the lead just before the end. I already forgot we'd be playing extra time, but we did. We got very close to winning as we struck the inside of the post, but it remained a tie.

NEXT UP:

The season gets rolling good as Week 3 will have us playing two games. Another inter-conference game at Memphis and then we'll face Virginia at home. This will be the first of our eight ACC games, so a big one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - WEEK 3

Two games this week, starting with an away game at - so I found out in the buildup - arch rivals Memphis.

MEMPHIS 1-2 LOUISVILLE

23 SHOTS 7
10 
ON TARGET 6
51% 
POSSESSION 49%
2.8 (+1 PK) 
EXPECTED GOALS 0.6 (+1 PK)

ea1ec378cb7ab11871bb4d8dd397d3f8.png

We struck gold with a late goal by super sub Omar Gómez. This was a completely undeserved win, but we managed to exploit the fact that you're allowed to substitute all your bench players and we controlled our stamina to make the best of the final part of the game.

---

Our next game was our first ACC game. This is the more important part of the schedule, as these eight games are against the teams that we'll face every year. Starting with a home game against Virginia.

LOUISVILLE 1-6 VIRGINIA

15 SHOTS 15
ON TARGET 11
54% POSSESSION 46%
2.0 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.8

839a2e77f31a96a85d6bceb3c1f5fca9.png

Obviously, when you win a game undeservedly, you know FM is going to come for you. Which it did, right away. I felt like every shot that Virginia had went in even though I was very satisfied with the way we played. We forced Virginia to shoot from a long way out, but either our goalkeeper made a mistake or our defenders just handed them the ball. We actually managed to create more expected goals, but the goals just kept flying in for Virginia.

0cef3f33a5ede05261d9681dbc1f839f.png

Not a good start to conference play, but we've still managed to gather seven points after the first four games.

NEXT UP:

Week 4 will have us travelling to Duke for our second ACC game. In the weekend, we'll host Rhode Island for a non-conference game.

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 4

After the disastrous defeat against Virginia, we're at Duke for our second ACC game.

DUKE 1-1 LOUISVILLE (AET)

18 SHOTS 10
ON TARGET 2
50% POSSESSION 50%
2.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.1

bce10c4684597f9de6378d3865944f15.png

A lucky draw it is.

---

The next one was a home game against non-conference side Rhode Island.

LOUISVILLE 1-1 RHODE ISLAND (AET)

14 SHOTS 15
ON TARGET 5
43% 
POSSESSION 57%
1.2 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.5

0146077f22b7b35b5eaf6e168459e09b.png

And a lucky draw, followed by a drab draw.

1930a243f65a403f0c774925a927f94b.png

This means that we have 2 wins, 1 loss and 3 draws after the first four weeks.

NEXT UP:

In Week 5 we'll head to NC State for our third ACC game and we host Mercer for a non-conference game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Title holders Wake Forest? 9B0F0D23-1C1F-43B9-85DF-ECBC7006E85D.thumb.jpeg.4e7cfc03dd21fce205f3953081881a88.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 5

We're starting with a tough away game at NC State.

NC STATE 2-0 LOUISVILLE

18 SHOTS 7
10 
ON TARGET 2
52% POSSESSION 48%
1.5 
EXPECTED GOALS 0.6

84a5936ef9ab35ae3f182cbb7fd4102e.png

No chance here.

---

The second game was another non-conference game against Mercer. They had only drawn once and lost all other four games, so we were definitely the favourites here.

LOUISVILLE 1-4 MERCER

16 SHOTS 22
11 
ON TARGET 10
52% 
POSSESSION 48%
1.6 (+1 PK) 
EXPECTED GOALS 2.1

40fe95a7fe0504c8a374405eb81be105.png

This one definitely came as a surprise. We missed about five clear chut chances, while out opponents have been having absolutely no problem at all to score goals. The amount of headers that we loss is absolutely dreadful.

568b0fd8de51d3ff6c2f78d687983e03.png

Yeah, it's not going well. It started when one player started complaining about the fact I hadn't fulfilled his promise about strengthening the squad. Which, to my opinion, I did. We lost the game against Virginia, morale was low, so I tried a team meeting. For some reason everybody fell out and now I'm stuck with a completely upset dressing room that only trains about once every two weeks (as all free space is filled up with games) and we're bleeding goals. All is well.

NEXT UP:

It's off to North Carolina for an ACC game and we're hosting Quinnipiac at home for a non-conference game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch, not the greatest of starts. Hope you can turn it around soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rough start. Looks like you need to offer some improper gifts to blue Chip recruits

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 27/04/2020 at 15:54, zethani said:

Ouch, not the greatest of starts. Hope you can turn it around soon.

It's definitely hard so far, but luckily there's still enough non-conference games to go. Plus the conference tournament is a great backup.

 

On 28/04/2020 at 03:47, kidthekid said:

Rough start. Looks like you need to offer some improper gifts to blue Chip recruits

We're already having our eyes on some fine student "ath-o-leets"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - WEEK 6

A little break from updating because I finally got a new laptop that is able to process FM the way it should. A whole world opened up to me, I can tell you that.

Anyway, it's week 6 and we're playing two games. The first one is a conference game at North Carolina:

NORTH CAROLINA 1-1 LOUISVILLE (AET)

12 SHOTS 19
ON TARGET 8
53% 
POSSESSION 47%
1.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.6

fcf74ffeff000fabfc56c90f80fd0563.png

Quite surprised by the sudden good game away at one of NCAA's all-time soccer powerhouses North Carolina. We deserved more and even hit the post in extra time, but it wasn't to be.

---

After that we received Quinnipiac at home for a non-conference game and it would turn out to be a real thriller!

LOUISVILLE 3-2 QUINNIPIAC (AET)

29 SHOTS 27
13 
ON TARGET 14
50% 
POSSESSION 50%
3.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 3.1 (+1 PK)

e488b7674ff2167037d716150f631b50.png

An extremely tight game that went right down to the wire. Quinnipiac's striker Dave Robinson really stood out from everyone else as he dribbled through our defense with ease at multiple times. I really felt like we could lose any moment, but a mistake by their defender and a missed penalty gave us an exhillerating golden goal win.

---

Definitely one of the better weeks so far. It looks like we're finally back to creating chances, although our defense really needs to be improved in the offseason.

095983208ba217b0b94c49ef0381a748.png

In non-conference games, we're 3-1 with two draws so far. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe the editor file is set up in a way that the NCAA tournament will be filled by adding the top 3 teams that did not yet win a conference tournament from all the different non-conference groups. If that is the case, we're looking pretty good with four games to go and only one point behind one of those spots.

03bd81226943f5585af3f38c8b51ade8.png

Within the Atlantic Coast Conference, times have been rough so far, as we've gone 0-2 with two draws in four games. Then again, all teams will participate in the conference tournament, so the only real goal could be to finish in 2nd place to get a bye. That seems a hard mountain to climb with seven points difference and only four games left.

NEXT UP:

A rough stretch as we're playing four straight away games over the span of eight days. Two of them will be in week 7: a non-conference game with Houston Baptist and an ACC game with Boston College.

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a secret love for the American sports in general and the college sports in particular. This is straight up my alley and I'll be following this with much interest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Mikaelinho said:

I have a secret love for the American sports in general and the college sports in particular. This is straight up my alley and I'll be following this with much interest!

Welcome on board!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This league system....

Just Wow GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

This league system....

Just Wow GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

It's actually pretty easy! You just need to win as many games as you can. Well, not necessary. Or lose everything, and then win a tournament. But if you don't, it's ok too. As long as you beat a bunch of random teams you're not even in the same league with. And if you don't win, there's still extra time. And then all teams get thrown at a big pile where a quarter of all teams need to win a random knockout tournament. Heh... it's... it's really easy!

nervous parks and recreation GIF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 7

We're reaching the final weeks of the regular season and we're playing a benchload of games in succession, starting with two tough away games.

HOUSTON BAPTIST 0-1 LOUISVILLE

10 SHOTS 16
ON TARGET 2
51% POSSESSION 49%
0.8 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.9

ccc56665dc687299d8fb86612392cfdd.png

One of our better games of the season. We're finally starting to blend together.

---

BOSTON COLLEGE 2-5 LOUISVILLE

15 SHOTS 17
ON TARGET 8
48% POSSESSION 52%
1.4 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.9

de4e7e4ac71ab02af64f0528941f91c0.png

Another deserved win after a ridiculous end to the game. But we're finally starting to score some goals!

---

97657a702972c966ecf16f8b92977b24.png

We go 4-1 with two draws in non-conference play and with games left against Northeastern, Missouri State and Marquette to finish at least third (I think), Looking good I'd say.

f604991ceaec237e72105afcf79df8e0.png

Our first win in the ACC means we finally give a good showing of ourselves. Four points away from a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

NEXT UP:

Our toughest week so far as we'll have non-conference away games at Northeastern and Missouri State through the week and an ACC matchup at home with Clemson. Where do these kids find the time to study for their mid-terms?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 8

Three games in six days. How did we do?

NORTHEASTERN 0-3 LOUISVILLE

16 SHOTS 15
ON TARGET 8
43% 
POSSESSION 57%
1.7 
EXPECTED GOALS 2.0

ed03d5eb8fd7080a48b328ec990b24a0.png

In the years playing FM I think I have never seen a team defend this atrociously as these guys. They literally handed us every goal and we were near to just walking the balls into the net. No complaining though.

---

MISSOURI STATE 2-1 LOUISVILLE

SHOTS 10
ON TARGET 3
48% 
POSSESSION 52%
0.4 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.0

b313313dda5c3b80f6b7200ad5d63f26.png

This game could've pretty much sealed a top 3 finish in our non-conference schedule, but we bottled it.

---

LOUISVILLE 3-2 CLEMSON

21 SHOTS 13
10 
ON TARGET 8
58% POSSESSION 42%
2.7 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.8

25b4e05d7ec1b77f589fcee540bdcd7e.png

A deserved home win against football (but not so much in soccer) giants Clemson. It was a VERY narrow escape, though.

30b4d676a379d14f42eca9fa804083e3.png

Our regular season is nearly over. We have one non-conference game left: a home game with Marquette. A draw will probably be enough to clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament.

22ef85abaedbe58713ddbc7fe5714d08.png

With two games left in the ACC, our group is definitely the most exciting one. We've managed to bring a gap of seven points down to just the one poin for a first round bye in the ACC Tournament. 

NEXT UP:

Week 9 with our last non-conference game with Marquette and an ACC matchup with Syracuse.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 9

A draw against Marquette and we should be sure of an NCAA Tournament invitation.

LOUISVILLE 0-2 MARQUETTE

12 SHOTS 14
ON TARGET 7
59% 
POSSESSION 41%
1.5 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.4

fae2d4b706864c9e03154ca4b0606b00.png

...aaaand we bottled it. Now we'll just have to hope Rhode Island won't jump over us, but we won't find out until a week after our regular season schedule ends.

---

We're playing our seventh ACC game against Syracuse.

LOUISVILLE 2-0 SYRACUSE

24 SHOTS 7
11 
ON TARGET 3
59% 
POSSESSION 41%
2.8 + 1 PK EXPECTED GOALS 0.8

e952dd83ea7e4b26141e6dc19ce2534f.png

A very good win there. We're really looking good for the conference tournament.

be40fbf5c5799adac6941c61b0103279.png

So yes... nailbiter finish.

0d7975d870f76536defef6a16fb1cacc.png

Virginia and Duke have first-round byes in the ACC Tournament, our final encounter of the regular season will be a home game with Wake Forest.

NEXT UP:

The one final game of the regular season before a hopefully successful postseason starts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - WEEK 10

We'll finish off the regular season with a home game with ACC champions Wake Forest.

LOUISVILLE 6-1 WAKE FOREST

15 SHOTS 17
11 
ON TARGET 5
52% POSSESSION 48%
2.3 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.7

a2070603448b36b5386f646957b2b694.png

We're starting to heat up at the exact right time. Even though we deserved the win, this was a proper FM'ing of Wake Forest. And the best thing is:

d7124e7784c8fd20065283bd7b52005d.png

After going 0-2 with two draws in conference play, we've won four in a row to clinch the second spot in the division. Unfortunately not the top spot, but we're still getting a first round bye in the ACC Tournament! Which is actually huge as the team we'll face in that round will play four days prior.

515ab9af2f6ecd267b98d35c48f59feb.png

(I THINK this means a first round bye from the ACC Tournament, because I can't click on Champions Playoff and I genuinely have no clue what they're referring to as the round we qualified for is called "Atlantic Coast Tournament Qtr Final". So maybe we're already in the NCAA Tournament? No idea. Anyway:

5276316481c7ab4e790fa5ad1aecc92f.png

In real life these tournaments are played at a neutral site, but that's not reflected in the game. IE we'll be playing at home all the way to a possible final!

NEXT UP:

How did we do in the ACC Tournament?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - ACC TOURNAMENT

It's postseason time, which starts with the ACC Tournament. As we're still in limbo whether we've qualified for the NCAA Tournament, we really need to do well in this tournament. Luckily, we're already qualified for the quarter finals.

FIRST ROUND:

dc405982df390e9d0c606923385f4884.png

QUARTER FINALS:

LOUISVILLE 1-0 PITTSBURGH (AET)

17 SHOTS 12
12 
ON TARGET 5
58% POSSESSION 42%
1.9 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.1

0d10911d6a46e5cdc7690f031eb84f17.png

It was a game where we dominated our opponents from start to finish, even played with a man more for the last part of the game, but it took us an exhillerating free kick from Billy O'Donnell as the top corner golden goal to clinch a spot in the semi-final! We'll face our regular season foes NC State.

d4871d75ad71f12c5180eafd8edf15cc.png

SEMI-FINALS:

LOUISVILLE 1-4 NC STATE

12 SHOTS 26
ON TARGET 13
55% POSSESSION 45%
1.5 
EXPECTED GOALS 2.2

0a41846f00e764ee8507f02ac16b582c.png

Yeah, well, this was horrible. My players were all fired up when they left the dressing room for them to pass the kickoff back to the goalkeeper, who heeved it forward to their striker over our defenders' heads and score the 0-1 withing 17 seconds. Not even a minute later, they heeved another one forward for the 0-2. Pointless game from there on. Just to give an idea what the quality of tactis is in this league, here's their heat map:

350f464787cfb2486a51f748fd7bc467.png

323816cccc43d31a6d419b6ee0a1e903.png

THE FINAL:

78a2dfbc73b9d9c3e64fd4e731647175.png

NC State are the new ACC champions and qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

---

Well, that's rubbish. The only hope for us left to be NCAA champions is if the polls give us an at-large pick due to our non-conference play...

0ffb53aebef85cabe6e93279ece77486.png

67d75b602c7253e6e59df8c1fc143160.png

Which we did!! While we lost to NC State in the Conference semi-final, Rhode Island got beat too, which means we finished 3rd in our non-conference group. The bad taste from losing a shot at the conference championship therefore was washed away pretty quickly as we qualified for the NCAA Tournament!!

4ec1073b1bfc85be7c946c3038b33d96.png

To sum it up, there's 48 teams in total in the NCAA Tournament: the 24 conference champions and 24 at large-teams. As we're not a conference champions, we'll have to start off in the first round. All games will be played at campus sites. Again, we've been lucky to be drawn first, so we'll play home games right up until a possible quarter final. The Final Four will be played at a neutral site.

COMING UP:

The NCAA Tournament.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an American - and a huge college sports fan - I'll definitely be following along with this.  I just chuckle when people say that the league rules(not just college, but MLS, etc.) are so intricate and confusing and, at times - contradictory - because even having grown up with this structure, many of us can't even figure it out half of the time!  We just smile and nod....  Very interesting, indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huge win against Wake Forest!

Okay, I guess that going out at the Semi Finals wasn't the best for the ACC, but that is a kid league after all. What matters is the NCAA.

Let's hope on a deep run

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, ranks39 said:

As an American - and a huge college sports fan - I'll definitely be following along with this.  I just chuckle when people say that the league rules(not just college, but MLS, etc.) are so intricate and confusing and, at times - contradictory - because even having grown up with this structure, many of us can't even figure it out half of the time!  We just smile and nod....  Very interesting, indeed.

Thanks for following along! Yes, it took me about 8 years to be able to admit to myself that I really get college football, but now that I do, I do see the positive sides of it as well. At least you guys have an organized structure of youth sports that brings the whole nation together. Youth sports in Europe are just a couple of parents throwing some fists along the sideline.

15 hours ago, zethani said:

Huge win against Wake Forest!

Okay, I guess that going out at the Semi Finals wasn't the best for the ACC, but that is a kid league after all. What matters is the NCAA.

Let's hope on a deep run

It was definitely a good one! The exit in the ACC Tournament is a shame, but because of the conference structure, we'll always play in that tournament so it's a bit of a random one. The level of the teams is very comparable too, so I feel like anyone could win it every year. I'd like to win it one day but luckily it's not that important to the board. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND

The regular season is over and this is what it's all about, the NCAA Tournament. We've been lucky to receive an at-large pick based on our 9-5 (4 ties) record, but we'll have to start from the first round. Our first opponent will be Ohio State, who went 8-6 (2 ties), finished in third place (out of nine) in the Big Ten Conference and got knocked out of the quarter finals of their conference tournament.

LOUISVILLE 2-1 OHIO STATE

15 SHOTS 14
ON TARGET 6
57% 
POSSESSION 43%
2.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.4

5b990609175215ccb5f819c0707f1f9f.png

A pretty decent game where most of Ohio State's good chances came from individual errors. We're on to the second round!

---

All first round results. Thank God NC State got kicked out, because they were in our part of the bracket.

bcd2d91d8003d5980fb2ba85169e9410.png

And the draw for the second round. Lehigh went 9-7 with 2 ties. They won their conference's double by winning the ten team Patriot League (even though the first six teams were all tied on points!!) and beating Navy in the conference final.

273b4cd21fd8543e8f8708e8d3d4b2c9.png

dc8a3cffdf31e5cc9abb17d1d562b4bb.png

Some of these second round games were already played during the first round so here we go. The best 16 teams have been added to the schedule, so these 32 teams are the last teams remaining with a shot at winning the national title.

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - NCAA TOURNAMENT SECOND ROUND

We're back at home for the second round. This time up it's Patriot League champions Lehigh.

LOUISVILLE 1-1 LEHIGH (3-2 APK)

17 SHOTS 6
ON TARGET 3
52% 
POSSESSION 48%
1.6 
EXPECTED GOALS 0.6

6667541d1308ba32be08160567a6fd70.png

We were in control all game, but one personal defensive error nearly cost us the season. The penalty series was a nailbiter too. We went ahead, then they went ahead before we ultimately ran away with the victory. It's on to the third round now!

---

All second round results:

7afcac032111fb3045740a466f1dd389.png

In the third round we'll travel all the way to the Pacific Northwest to face Oregon State, who went 11-8 (one tie) this season. They finished the Pac-12 conference in a three-way tie with California and UCLA, but came up in second place on head-to-head results. There's no Pac-12 tournament btw.

916705f1afb3a3493e526326386183d2.png

f5637b5d4ab36837c229845ca3b9b516.png
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - NCAA TOURNAMENT THIRD ROUND

We're travelling to Corvallis to play Oregon State for a spot in the NCAA Tournament quarter finals. Can we pull one off?

OREGON STATE 1-3 LOUISVILLE

13 SHOTS 15
ON TARGET 11
44% 
POSSESSION 56%
1.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.9

7fc8d3a52e473c6c22da3802d8f8f706.png

One of our best games defensively so far. We limited Oregon State to long-distance shots. Unfortunately, one of them was an absolute wonder goal from far out to put them ahead 1-0, but we came back from behind in great fashion.

---

Which means we've qualified for the quarter finals!

d8f80a8a80a666f5764d87055982c461.png

c3c857e7d1d0f32703999e0cb4c1c863.png

We will be back at home against UC San Diego, who might be our hardest opponent this season so far. They've gone 12-1 (with four ties) this season. They won the Big West Conference by a big margin and defeated UC Riverside in the conference final as well. They haven't lost a game in over two and a half months...

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Akron good in the game as they are in real life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, kidthekid said:

Is Akron good in the game as they are in real life?

All college teams have either a half star or one full star of reputation. The bigger ones, like Akron, have one star, so they're likely to get better players. However, all players are auto-generated, so the difference between the level of players is very small. Akron finished 7-6 with two ties, finishing in 5th (out of 6) in the Mid-American Conference, got kicked out of the first round of the conference tournament and didn't even get invited to the NCAA Tournament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - NCAA TOURNAMENT QUARTER FINALS

Here we are, just one victory separates us from appearing in the 2019 College Cup Final Four. Can we do it?

LOUISVILLE 1-0 UC SAN DIEGO

14 SHOTS 13
ON TARGET 7
56% 
POSSESSION 44%
2.1 
EXPECTED GOALS 1.9

135f3010dee30aa9b0d4711166730031.png

It was a very good game for the neutral fans, but we managed to cling on. I have to say we've been very lucky so far to have been playing this many home games up to the Final Four as we played in a sold-out park for the first time this season.

---

3225b7323115e330e04275d591746db8.png

5755e5d03e46eb8633f42c21036935cc.png

ca0088a280c5a1f471fab64da3cbe61d.png

We've been given the easiest possible draw in UNC Greensboro as they're the college with the lowest reputation among the four of us. However, they will be playing a home game of sorts as neutral site chosen for the Final Four is in their home state of North Carolina. The venue is WakeMed Soccer Park with the (to us) astronomical capacity of 10,000 in Cary. Home of USL Championship side North Carolina FC.

Anyway, we'll get a week's rest and then we're heading to the East Coast. We have ourselves December football!

 

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent results so far, it seems that this Louisville is much more suited to postseason football (or should I say soccer?)

Any Louisville lads that strike the eye already as potential MLS draft picks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zethani said:

Excellent results so far, it seems that this Louisville is much more suited to postseason football (or should I say soccer?)

Any Louisville lads that strike the eye already as potential MLS draft picks?

I feel like our reputation is far superior to other teams that are not in the ACC, so I'd almost say that the NCAA Tournament is easier than the ACC so far.. *knocks on wood*

There are a couple of players that might contribute something to an MLS academy, but so far I'm yet to find out what the parameters are that MLS sides will base their picks on. It's obviously a modded file that's been designed that players now have to be picked from the NCAA. No idea whether the AI will only pick 23 year olds or something else... I'm as curious as you are!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2019 SEASON - COLLEGE CUP SEMI FINAL

We've reached the Final Four and for most of these players, it's the biggest stadium they've ever played in. Are we able to control our nerves?

LOUISVILLE 2-1 UNC GREENSBORO (AET)

14 SHOTS 13
ON TARGET 7
51% 
POSSESSION 49%
2.0 
EXPECTED GOALS 0.8

8cf311fb74276d50e8312ee0bab40671.png

Yes we did!!! It was a very, very tense game where we didn't have a lot of chances, but the chances that we had we're pretty big. It seemed a long time that Zico Jones' goal would seal the faith to our season, but Peter Johnson was the hero of the day with a late equaliser and the sliding golden goal! Absolute scenes! It's been our first year and Louisville will be playing the second College Cup Final in its existence!

---

51e2394a0b5b59f7d2ecbe952716de48.png

80d57f13c87b114b7f7dbac01221c76f.png

The two biggest teams in the Nation are only an hour and a half's drive away. Its Louisville against Cincinnati!

---

On a little side note, I've noticed that, for some reason, the AI recognizes us as the home team in both the semi final, as well as the final. As you can see two screens above this, it regarded the semi-final between Virginia and Cincinnati as played at a neutral venue. However, it did not do that for us. Yes, the game was played at WakeMed Soccer Park, but everywhere I looked, the game acted as if I was playing at home. It just showed a different name to the stadium. For some reason, the semi final wasn't regarded as a big game either, as only 700 people showed up (as opposed to 2,000+ in the quarter final). The worst part of it all is that there were only 7 away fans... So it seems like we've been given a very big advantage in the Final Four. I can't change it, but it's definitely a bit disappointing.

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - COLLEGE CUP FINAL

Here we go, one of the biggest games in the university's history:

ca73987a799a94edb3534247798a2100.jpg

Both starting XI's.

8e028a21277c738e6cccf7f919a43f25.png

First quarter of the game gone and both teams have had a one-on-one already. No goals yet.

cf4941db0571bbf139ae159f5a1cc9dc.png

First half done. Louisville got a great opportunity right before the break, but Peter Johnson headed just wide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bd34c925ae7808c1a367dd5e1bb1b555.png

27cdd406ed32408e9ac5955dcbef11a8.png

An hour down and it's been quite nervous so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6ef7a46d0091287f3e9bb750d699ad56.png

393be466695b2ef756762fd50e165a93.png

Not a lot of regular time left. Both teams have had some good chances, but the goalkeepers have been the best players on the field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1b3872aebe88a7ecc0f82110e8dd9d20.png

Tragedy! Brett Stewart curls in a free kick and central defender Phil Myers hits it in at the far post! Cincinnati takes the lead with fifteen minutes to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

85e507a1c121a70cfc9b9b791a5c926d.png

Peter Johnson and Omar Gómez had a clear path to the goal, but Johnson is selfish and cannot get the ball past Cincy's goalkeeper Jack Balkanloo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a71476dba5f9d8c2dddeb1eacfce8fa1.png

ff5fa9643ce276c5009b873651d913ab.png

Duong scored the deciding goal of the game, but offside was called!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

f3d007b9754ac4f6580b43e60fab0d3a.png

Gómez is clear on goal....

3c96da573bfa682a00afdc7d397ed840.png
 

But a great block by Myers, who is showing everything tonight!

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

8a75ff76b0d972ecb67ad53b294f73fb.png

Last chance, must be!!

 

 

445885801bc8fcc8fb0d332ec608cc76.png

But no! It's a bad cross and Salazar kicks it away.

Edited by Timetxu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is quite honestly one of the coolest databases I have ever seen! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 SEASON - COLLEGE CUP FINAL

LOUISVILLE 0-1 CINCINNATI

14 SHOTS 15
ON TARGET 7
60% 
POSSESSION 40%
1.5 
EXPECTED GOALS 2.2

294325c09eb1a33239da0d7ff8d29007.png

8886e2b7c686e012b909671dffd7cb1c.jpg

17bd9984c935369c346d561b0bb5f49c.png

Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Cincinnati managed to only create chances when they hit us on quick breakaways by losing the ball in midfield, something that has bugged us all season. This time we couldn't come back from it. The season is over, but it definitely was a very impressive one. After losing the final in 2010 to Virginia, Cincinnati proved too much in 2019.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before preparing the draft post, I just wanted to show this article:

14cc1301808ae3dd9828cb71a760896a.png

I received the possibility to have a second team enter the invisible lower leagues. I tried to see what happens if I did and it just meant that my team was split in half with the possibility of having a youth intake in the future. I've actually decided against this because of multiple reasons:

1. In real life, college teams don't have youth teams.
2. Recruiting for college teams happens by offering players scholarships or recruiting them among the players in college. Before starting this save I looked forward to doing this myself actively, so I don't want a generic intake coming through.
3. These youth intakes would constitute of 15/16 year olds that would go into a second team and I could start playing two years later because of the NCAA age limit. I can't really translate this to what it'd be in real life. I could act like it's the local high school team or something. But as I'd only need to recruit about 8-10 players a year and there's more than enough players in the local development leagues, it doesn't feel realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...