Board in the USA 9: On Holiday, Do Not Disturb
With the number of holidays I’ve taken as the “Manager” of Atlanta United, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten the sack yet. But if the team is doing well, no harm no foul right? To compensate for my lack of man hours spent on the team, I did an upper-management analysis on the status of the squad.
The squad is really doing well, sitting gloriously at the top of the Eastern Conference. Many of my signings, like Ulises Tavares and Mix Diskerud, have turned out phenomenally well. I even after some strong youth talent in the squad, like Andrew Carleton. Head of Youth Development Luiz Fernando Moraes was so pleased with Carleton’s progress, he even gave me a heads-up.
Looks good. Going to keep my eye on this one.
It spreads like the plague
One of the big problems with my team now is injuries. They weren’t happening to my first teamers with much regularity, but the bench was really taking a hit. In particular, injuries were coming thick and fast for Jacob Peterson. He was supposed to be the backup right winger for Villaba. “You were the chosen one! I trusted you!”
For those who recall, he got injured after just being a substitute twice prior to this moment. I thought I was going to have him back, as Villaba was getting tired and I did not want to risk injury by playing him in every single game.
Without a hitch, he gets injured the very next day for 7 MONTHS. His attributes were really taking a plummet due to the amount of time he spent in the hospital rather than on the pitch. I made a mental note to get rid of him at the very first opportunity.
Theiler’s job performance review
My manager in all but name, Theiler, was doing a fairly bang-up job. However, it seems he likes to play slow possession-based football. That would explain why Mix Diskerud was doing well in the middle of the park with his slow pace. If I intend to keep Theiler around, I have to be sure my offensive players have good technical and creative attributes in order to flourish in this system.
I also noticed he did not have a habit of rotating the squad all that much. Scott Caldwell, one of my marquee pickups in the expansion draft, was barely getting any game time. I decided that moving forward, I would *ahem* inform the gaffer of the importance of squad rotation in order to ensure all my players get sufficient minutes to keep them happy.
A squad under siege
Meanwhile, many teams started sniffing around my players. Almiron, my star playmaker, was getting sniffed at from Tottenham. Of course, he quickly turned around to me and raised the concern of playing at a bigger club. I managed to dissuade him this time, but who knows when he decides little Atlanta wasn’t good enough for him. I informed my scouts to look for possible DP replacements.
In hindsight, that’s the downside of having young foreign DPs. While the idea of building a squad around a strong young core is good in theory, most of the young foreign DPs have bigger aspirations than the relative anonymity of MLS football. However, I would rather have younger DPs than older DPs who view the MLS as a retirement league. As a compromise, I reminded myself to look for more loyal players when in the DP hunt.
No Rooney, I’m not your retirement home. keep looking.
In more domestic news, a massive offer came in for Okugo. Sporting Kansas was not messing around.
But I just could not accept it! Okugo is a good young American talent, and these do not come by easily. The Portland pick they were offering wasn’t great either, since Portland have a pretty solid team. (I also already have 7 draft picks in line for the 2018 Superdraft.) While the International slot is nice, I don’t want to rely on it for next season. Perhaps I should have accepted such a large offer, but I didn’t.
My defensive swiss-army knife Zach Loyd was also under siege. Practically every American club has offered their first round pick for him. Since I had Keegan Rosenberry, I was pretty much set for my first-team right back. 29 year-old Zach Loyd wasn’t getting any younger either. I made a mental note to let him go in December at the end of the season, after I had secured greater depth for my backline.
In far less important news, Kenwyne Jones requested to leave. I transfer-listed him so fast, his Jamaican mates could not run quick enough to get him out of the team. No club took the bait, however, so he will have to wait. Mark my words, Kenwyne’s day of reckoning will come.
Performance in the League
As alluded to earlier, we were doing insanely well.
After I forced Scott Caldwell into the lineup, he has also been performing well with an average rating of 7.08 in 5 games. Guess directors know a thing or two about football as well, eh?
My team was doing so well, the Powers That Be could not resist giving Rosenberry and Garza a spot on the MLS All-Stars team in their friendly game against Stoke! While I was a bit miffed I didn’t get the All-Star Manager even though we were sitting at the top of the league, it was probably was because of all those holidays…
Hey! Holidays are hard too, alright!?
That marks the end of the 9th update on this wonderful Atlanta United save. I’m having a lot of fun writing about it, and I do hope you have as much reading about it. If you have any feedback about my updates, or just want to talk about FM in general, please let me know at @avery1822 on Twitter or @avery on FMSlack. Stay tuned for the big 1-0!