An American Tale – #0 – The Intro

There is some sort of beauty to network saves, as was found out during the FM21 series ‘The Far East Express‘ where it was just madness upon madness for those involved, as we all learnt the mayhem of lower league Asian football as we aimed for the top. This time however, it is all based in one country and that will be the United States of America!

As football slowly develops in the states’, along with a group of other awesome content creators who you will meet as this series progresses, this is what was settled and agreed on due to the challenging ways of football in the U.S. However, a lot of people will know about the player drafts, the play-offs and the lack of promotion & relegation but I ask you to forget about all that for this series.

A 10 tier database is being used that you can find on the sortitoutsi website (link here) and this incorporates leagues with promotion/relegation from amateur football to what we all know as the MLS, with a host of domestic cups along the way.

The Save Rules & Goals

Player Rules

Each player on their respective season must follow the below rules, this is to keep the save exciting for the next person to take over.

  • No major updates to be given outside of the chosen way of broadcast (blog, youtube etc).
  • When you’re in control, you are free to do as you wish with the players, staff and so on. If you’re not a fan of a prior signing for example, you can move them on as you please!
  • Follow the save rules in terms of moving clubs at all times, this ensures as much natural progression as possible.

Three simple rules to ensure things are not made complicated for us all!

Save Rules

Now the save rules mainly revolve around how we all progress up the ranks and to ensure large chunks of the tiers aren’t missed out.

  • When promoted via league title, runners up or play offs, the tier you are promoted to you can move to another club in that tier. For example if promotion is won to tier 9 then the manager can go to another tier 9 club.
  • If a domestic trophy is won, this gives the licence to progress up one tier without the need of a promotion. There is plenty of cup competitions so this could be a fast track in a sense to progress, although there is usually tons of rounds to get through!
  • If the team that the manager is in charge of is not promoted, they can either stay with this team or move to another team in the same tier. Without promotion no step up in team can be made and must be at the same level.
  • If sacked at any point, a team in the same tier or tiers below must be joined. Let’s be honest, a sacking doesn’t deserve a step up so we’ll graft and go again!
  • The manager’s coaching badges can only be developed after promotion to naturally progress in this area as well. A domestic cup win does not qualify for the next course, this is based solely on league performance.

These rules give everyone freedom but also little bits of pressure when it comes down to the promotion or sack race.

The Manager

Now similar to FM21 a footballing legend of the country/continent where the save takes place is collectively voted for and the man who will lead the charge through America is definitely up there.

I’m not sure how good or accurate that face scan is but I can confirm USA and Premier League goalkeeping legend Tim Howard will lead the charge on this journey.

The man had a very good career in football with the likes of the Metrostars (Now NY Red Bulls), Man Utd, Everton & Colorado Rapids. He is now the Sporting Director & minority owner of Memphis 901 in the USL Championship (second tier).

However, at 42 years of age Tim Howard is on a journey to rise through the ranks of his home country and make it to the top. Imagine if it all ended with NYRB or Colorado Rapids!

Now Tim’s reputation in the footballing world cannot be questioned, he was after all an international goalkeeper and played in the best league in the world but when it comes to coaching, this is his first rodeo.

The Club – Hoboken FC 1912

So where to start? Well Tim wanted to start close to his birthplace of New Jersey and wanted to make his name from tier 10 of US football (at no point will I call it soccer) and Hoboken FC 1912 fitted that criteria perfectly.

Hoboken FC were founded in 1912 and are one of the oldest clubs in America. It was founded by German Merchant Marines as Germania FC but that changed to Hoboken FC 1912 a few years after after some incidents and prejudices at the time.

The club have been ever present with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL) and have played in it since 1923 from the second division to the major division. In this project however, Hoboken FC find themselves in the ‘Mid-atlantic Amateur League’ with seven other teams and there is only one way to go promoted, win the league as only one team each regional league gets promoted (four leagues in total).

New Beginnings

Tim Howard joins Hoboken FC on the 25th January meaning he only has just over a week until his first competitive game as a manager. Qualifying rounds of the Amateur Cup so its straight into the action. Not a lot of time to sort out the squad and everything else that comes with it!

As it is amateur football, effectively contracts mean nothing and you can approach players but also yours can be approached as well…it could get messy. The facilities as expected aren’t great and the media don’t back the team either, predicting an 8th placed finish which is bottom.

With the club culture, the chairman doesn’t care what kind of football is played which is good because it’s going to be unbelievably gritty shall we say, However, why is the aim to finish bottom of the league? Surely the team can’t be that bad! That will be revealed in the next run out I’m afraid…

A grand and a half in the bank, it’s $7 dollars for a match ticket and $58 for a season ticket – is that good for amateur football? Who knows! Although the scout budget is unreal at $80k but the range is only the US so there won’t be many internationals recommended. As it is an American based project, it was only right that the correct currency was used!

What’s Next?

The football will get underway with Hoboken FC with 3 domestic cups and of course the league! Things like the squad, transfers and the tactic will also be revealed to see what big Tim Howard will be working with. It will be a season review format as there is only 21 league games and the cups well, you never really know.

Thank you very much for reading this introduction to save, I hope it all looks good and I’m excited to get it going in season one. The season review should be out within the next week so keep a look out for it. Take care all.

DP-FM’s Scott

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