2020 – A venture into North America and a new National job

Good evening all and welcome back to the latest post in my attempt to do the Pentagon Challenge

A quick re-cap for anyone who hasn’t read my previous posts. Last time out we were in the 2019/20 season with Thanda Royal Zulu in the South African Premier League, somehow we managed to win the league and the African Champions League!

After this I immediately quit and went on a job hunt, it didn’t take long for 2 jobs to come my way. In my last post I set a Strawpoll vote to see which club I should be, New York Red Bulls or Vancouver Whitecaps. It was a seriously close run vote but in the end the vote finished like this:

vote

New York won it 12 votes to 11! Thank you to everyone who voted.

So New York Red Bulls, predicted to end 3rd in the Eastern Conference have ended 8th (out of 10) so a very poor season. Lets hope I can turn them round. Their squad overall looks good but I seriously need some better players to take us to the next level and re-qualify for the North American Champions League. New York are still in this competition at the moment and had qualified for the Quarter Finals just before I took over. The competition starts each August and runs to around January/February time. This means when the next seasons Champions League starts we wont be in it due to our poor league finish. But as I’m still in the competition at the moment I still have a chance of winning it straight the way, this could be the quickest stay at a club ever!

Back to the squad, I really need to sign a new GK, 2 CMs, a CB, and a new LB. I then lost my main striker to Victoria Plzen as they met his release clause of £2.7m so I need to replace him. The board also increased my transfer budget from what you can see on the vote screenshot. They increased my it to £7.5m so I have a lot of money to play with

I ended up making 7 signings, here they all are:

Signing 1 – Luis Gil, a £1.5m signing from Real Salt Lake, Gil is one hell of a signing, for the MLS he is top draw and will definitely be one of my 1st choices on the team sheet

t1

Signing 2 – May Mahlangu, it didn’t take me long to dip into South Africa for a player, another CM due to me deciding to sell one of my poorer CMs, he cost me £1.5m from Sundowns

t2

Signing 3 – Ben Nugent, a strong, solid CB signed on a free transfer

t3

Signing 4 – Steven Lade, another £1.5m signing and again from Real Salt Lake, Lade is a pretty decent looking GK

t4

Signing 5 – George Green, signed from Everton for £220k, an absolute steal for the this level and good that he can play in a couple of positions, will complement my 4231 nicely

t5

Signing 6 – Andile Tshabalala, yes another South African signing, £675k from Kaizer Chiefs,

t7

And finally my 7th Signing was done at the last minute, I signed CM/AM Chris Chalk from Arsenal on a season long loan deal

t6

So signings complete and my transfer budget demolished my squad now looks like this. I am really pleased with the strength in depth and know if we stay injury free and keep morale up we can win the league

squad

Pre-Season

Quite a few friendlies but all worth while, we had some good results and some bad but overall I was pleased and we looked raring to go into the new season

preseason

We then played out 2 legged NACL game against Mexican team Santos Laguna, what happened was an absolute travesty. We threw away a 3-0 half-time lead in the 1st leg to draw 4-4 at home, we then drew 1-1 away and went out on away goals! Absolutelu distraught to be honest and made me realise that winning the NACL might be a bit more difficult than I expected

nacl

So we head into the MLS season after that terrible affliction, lets hope it spurs us on!

March

A great start! 4 wins and 1 draw, lots of goals, the only negative would be the couple of games where we conceded more than i wanted to but overall a brilliant opening few games

march

April

Wow this is incredible, 5 more games and 5 more wins!

april

May

Another good month in the MLS, 10 points from 5 games but we lost our first game of the campaign in our 15th game. The other down side was the shocking defeat on penalties to lower league side Tampa Bay Rowdies in the US Cup!

may

June

A quieter month where we lost our 2nd league game, but 2 wins either side keep us top by 8 points

june

July

Another unbeaten month, we are absolutely smashing the league, you have to end in the top 3 to qualify for the end of season play-offs (4th and 5th play a wild card). We are well on our way to qualification already!

The came some amazing news. England want me!!!! After being knocked out in the 2nd Round of the European Championships they got rid of Roberto Martinez and offered me the job. I couldn’t turn it down!! England will start their Nations League campaign in the 2nd tier alongside Northern Ireland and Romania

july

August

4 games, 4 wins, we are unstoppable!

aug

September

A slip up at the start of the month, but what followed was amazing, 3 wins and 2 thrashings! And with only 4 games to go we lead the table by 25 points!sept

October

A bad end to the season but I was resting players for the impending play-offs

oct

So the regular season is over and here is how the MLS tables ended, we absolutely annihilated the league!

tables

Next up was a 2 legged game against New England, the winner will go through to the Eastern Final

We breezed through both legs winning 5-1 overall and will now play Orlando City in the final

semi finals

Then came the 2 legged final and we absolutely battered Orlando winning 9-1 on aggregate, Micky Mouse will not be happy!

final

Finally came the MLS Cup final against Western winners Portland Timbers

Another absolute smashing as we beat them 4-0 to claim the MLS Cup and qualification to the NACL starting August 2021

7753c38db8824bf4a48a4875e2da5df6

What a season!! Dominated the MLS losing only 4 games and in turn re-qualified for the Champions League. With the squad we have and a couple of new signings we can really give the NACL a good go!

Now to a few end of season awards and there were quite a few so I’ve picked out my favourites

Right Back Curtis Obeng won the Comeback Play of the Year award

oben poty

Luis Gil my new signing won the XBOX 360 Fair Play award!

fair play award

And Eduardo won the Golden Boot and also the MVP award, he was sensational, scoring 36 goals in 31 league games!

mvp

golden boot

We also had 4 players in the Team of the Year

toty

So all in all a very very good season. Now to England where we only had a handful of games

2 in September where we thrashed Northern Ireland 6-1 away and comfortable beat Romania 2-0 at Home

eng sept

We had 1 friendly and 1 Nations League game in October winning both

eng oct

And finally in November we had our final Nations League game where we saw off Romania again to come top of the group and secure promotion back to the top tier. We also had a very credible 2-2 draw against France

eng nov

Here is how our Nations League Group ended:

nl table

So there you have it, another season down and we are well on the way to challenging for the North American Champions League (once it start in August 2021!).

Thanks for reading.

Just on a quick side note, I’ve been toying with the idea of streaming a little bit of this save over the coming few days as I am baby and wife free! I will be on Twitch Friday afternoon/evening and also Sunday afternoon/evening PROVIDING I can get actually get it to work how I want it to, so if anyone wants to come and support me and offer me some assistance in getting the stream right then check me out on Twitch, my username is thatfmregen, ill be on around 3pm BST Friday, also get in touch on Twitter @thatfmregen

Catch you all soon!

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