Soccer Manager, Part 1: Friendlies

I’m following up on last week’s intro post about my new hobby of playing Soccer Manager 2018. I’m managing the Chicago Fire out of MLS and the team played three pre-season friendlies.

How did it go? Oooohh fine?

I mean how well can one draw and two losses be? At least it wasn’t three losses, I reckon. A preseason record of 0-1-2 with a goal differential of minus-four is not a good start.

I had a bitch of a time trying to figure out a formation. I settled on 3-4-3 midway through the first half of the first game when one of my players (Dax McCarty) was sent off with a red card. After the game, I looked up the real Dax McCarty’s career stats. He has played in MLS since 2006 and has never once been sent off with a red card. In my game, he get sent off in the 32nd minute, game one. So much for realism.

So I played a 3-4-3 which was really a 3-3-3 because McCarty is a mid-fielder and then we lost by three goals.

This makes me wonder if soccer players play games like this the way basketball players game with the NBA2K series or how wrestlers play the WWE games. I have no idea what a soccer player does to unwind, especially one who plays in the U.S.. I assume every European footballer ends up in Ibiza taking x and edging in a hot tub. Which is, y’know, one way to live.

The next game we won 2-2. I know that 2-2 is technically a draw but that’s a victory as far as I’m concerned because we actually scored goals and didn’t lose. Not to mention you don’t learn anything from victory and I didn’t learn anything from that game.

After losing the next game 1-0, I began to wonder what the real-life Fire formation is so I looked it up. It’s definitely not a 3-4-3 which I ran the entire pre-season. It’s a 4-2-3-1, which means nothing to you but to means when the season starts I’ll have the team play that formation instead even though they have no experience with it.

On the management end, I sent some scouts out to find me a new goalkeeper and some fresh meat for the youth team and I took an English forward on loan even though I didn’t know anything about him. I should scout players before I take them on.

Onward to the season! Chicago Fire 2018: We Cannot Possibly Lose Them All!