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[FM10] Going Coast to Coast - Millwallrules save in the MLS


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Millwallrules MLS Save- Starting in San Jose

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I have had a few saves in the MLS and loved them all, so I decided to start a new game with a hope of trying to win the league with every team in the league. I have started in California with San Jose Earthquakes. I plan to let you know on how we go in games, how we go in the transfer market and my thoughts.

ok, so some new information about my new club.

Found in 1996 as the San Jose clash, San Jose were decent players in the MLS winning the league in 2001 and 2003, before folding with Houston Dynamoes taking their place. In San Jose Earthquakes made a return to the MLS, although thus far have finished 7th twice.

Landon Donovan is the most well known player to play for the Quakes, while other well known former and current players are ex-reading winger Bobby Convey, ex-Norwich and Manchester City striker Darren Huckerby, Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales and ex-Hull playmaker Geovanni.

The club play at the Buck Shaw stadium which has a small capacity of only 10,000, although a 18,000 capacity stadium called the SJ Earthquake stadium is in construction. The club has a rivalry with the LA Galaxy, Houston and Chivas USA.

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The Squad

The Quakes have two excellent goalkeepers in the form of San Jose legend Joe Cannon and Ex-US International Jon Busch. Both are capable of excellent saves and it will come down to pre-season form when it comes to who will take the gloves at the start of the season.

At leftback, we have San Jose legend Ramiro Corrales. Corrales isn't spectacular, but he is extremely solid, and can also slot into the centre of midfield if needed. Fan Favourtie Bobby Convey can slot in the wingback role, but with his speed and crossing ability, I think he will be more effective on the leftwing. Ex-Brazilian international Andre Luiz can also play at leftback, but with his vision, technical ability and excellent distribution, he will be much more useful in a centre midfield role.

There are no standouts for rightback so it will be upto Tim Ward and Chris Leitch to battle it out for the position. Both are hardworking battlers, but both are prone to the odd lapse in concentration and offer very little going forward.

Jason Hernandez is the clubs first choice centreback. He is a lighting fast tough tackling defender who is one of the true leaders at the club. His partner will be the physical Ryan Cochrane, who despite the odd mistake, is a solid defender strikers hate coming up against. Brandon McDonald is another option for the centre of the defence, with his powerful physique and aggressiveness perfect for the position, although I feel he will be more useful to anchor my midfield.

Young athletic defender Ike Opara, who was 3rd choice in the 2009 draft, is a very good future prospect for the centre of defence, although this season may be too soon for him to be a starter.

The battle for the centre of midfield is between Andre Luiz, Brandon McDonald, Sam Cronin and Simon Elliot. Ex-Fulham player Simon Elliot is your typical hardworking physical mr reliable, while US International Sam Cronin provides plenty of energy. It looks to be at the moment Andre Luiz dictating the play, with either McDonald, Elliot or Cronin doing the dog work next to him.

Bobby Convey is our left wing option with his movement, speed and wingplay some of the best in the league. El Salvador international Arturo Alvarez is the right wing option, although he can slo play on the left or up front, and will prove plenty of speed, skill and tricks.

The clubs designated player Geovanni will play in the hole and given total freedom. The ex-Barcelona man buckets of skill and tricks, while he is known for his spectacular long range goals.

The two main striker options are the Trinidadian duo Cornell Glen and Scott Sealy. The powerfully built Seally will hold the ball up and get stuck in, while Glen provides provides buckets of speed and jinkiness.

At the moment it looks like I am going to play a 4-5-1, with the aim of keeping it solid in midfield and defence, and using the speed of my forward 3 by pinging balls over the top, and trying to find Geovanni if the long ball isn't on. It won't be pretty but until I invest in some more talent, it will have to do.

In terms of transfer targets, I am going to give this squad to the next transfer market to show me what they got, as at the moment with a full squad, I want to give everyone a chance to show me what they got.

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Pre-Season 2009-2010

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Lancaster Rattlers 0-3 San Jose Earthquakes

Totally controlled the game against much weaker opposition and experimented a little playing first half in a 4-4-2, the next in a 4-4-1-1.

Quake Goalscorers: Chris Leitch, Bobby Convey and Geovanni

Quake MoM: Chris Leitch- Got forward very well from rightback and scored a peach of goal, beating two men before rocketing the ball into the top corner.

Orange County Blue Star 0-3 San Jose Earthquakes

A total domination of a weaker side with the 4-5-1 working a treat.

Quake Goalscorers: Cornell Glen, Aaron Pitchkolan and Chris Wondolowski

Quake MoM: Sam Cornin- Worked hard box to box, created a goal and was inches a way from a goal himself.

Vermon Voltage 0-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Another confidence boosting win and the best performance thus far this season. Tried a 4-4-2 diamond which worked well.

Quake Goalscorers: Andrew Hoxie and Bobby Convey

Quake MoM: Andrew Hoxie - The young striker worked hard got stuck in, and created chance after chance creating from deep. Scored a simple tap in after Geovanni's shot was saved.

Houston Leones 1-4 San Jose Earthquakes

Tried a 4-4-2 again and we were not totally convincing with it. Still scored the most goals all season but looked fragile on the break.

Quake Goalscorers: Cornell Glen, Andre Luiz, Arturo Alvarez and Chris Wondolowski

Quake MoM: Andre Luiz - Show how dangerous he is from set pieces creating Cornell Glens goal with a sublime curling corner, before firing in a rocket freekick from 35 yards.

FC Smorgon 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes

A weird game in total as we totally and utterly dominated on a snow covered pitch, but could not find the back of the net, while Smorgon scored with their first and only chance. Tried a 3-5-2 and saw a lot of potential with it.

Quake Goalscorer: Geovanni

Quake MoM: Geovanni - Cause so many problems with his direct running at goal, and rounded the keeper for his goal after being put through by Scott Seally.

Portland Timbers 2-3 San Jose Earthquakes

Our toughest game so far which was tightly contested but our designated player Geovanni was the difference between the sides.

Quake Goalscorers: Geovanni(2), Ryan Johnson

Quake MoM: Geovanni - Was absolutely amazing in the hole causing problems with his flicks, direct running and long shots playing a part in all 3 goals.

Manager Thoughts

A solid pre season where I got to experiment a lot with players, styles and formations. Learnt that Geovanni is too good to play on the wing so what ever formation we do play this season will revolve with him being in the hole. Neither goalkeeper stood out with both conceding two goals, so the battle for the number one shirt will continue into the season. Chris Leitch convinced me that he will be my first choice rightback and was probably the best player over the pre season apart from Geovanni who was at times unstoppable.

Worrying is that despite scoring a few goals between them, I didn't get much from Scott Seally and Gornell Glen, with it looking at season start Chris Wondolowski will be leading the line. Wondolowski has been very useful when I have wanted to pressure teams heavily due to his fitness and workrate, and he has scored a few goals too.

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Transfer Summary

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Not much happened at all on the transfer front as with a full squad, I just had to realease a few players to fit under the squad limit of 24. Out went Joey Gjertsen, who despite being fairly versatile didn't offer enough to have a senior roster spot, Mike Saher, who just wasn't going to cut it with the other leftbacks at the club, Steven Beitashour, another who just wasn't going to get a game as he couldn't compete with the other rightbacks at the club and regrettably Andrew Hoxie, who I thought had potential as a decent target man but he just wasn't going to get into the team this year so he had to go.

Apart from that not much else happened apart from signing ex-New England and LA Galaxy assistant coach Trevor James as my new assistant, and bringing in ex US internationl Chris Armas as a coach at the club.

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I am quite happy with my squad going in, and my only fears really lie with the forward line, which may not be strong enough to perform regularly. Still with a player like Geovanni in my side, Im sure he will be able to make up for their shortcomings.

I am still yet to decided on the system we will play this season. I am bouncing a few ideas around my head with a 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1, 4-4-2 diamond or a 3-6-1 the most likely.

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March 2009 Update

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San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 New England Revolution

The new season kicked off with myself fielding a 4-3-3. My plan was to keep play wide and away from New England’s solid central midfield partnership of Shalrie Joseph and Ousmane Dabo.

Few and far chances between as both sides toiled, and sadly I lost Bobby Convey to a twisted knee(3 weeks out) and Chris Wondolowski(2 months out) to a twisted ankle early on.

Best chance of the game fell to centreback Ryan Cochrane as he met a corner firmly but Matt Reis, in the New England goal, was alert enough to tip it over the bar.

Quake Goalscorers: None

Quake MoM: Ramiro Corrales – San Jose’s captain was solid throughout winning several tackles and balls in the air, and leading the team by example.

San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 Houston Dynamo

I went into the game with an injury ravaged squad, with my side only having 6 substitutes to choose from. I adapted the side to a defensive 4-5-1 shape with the aim of using Scott Seally’s pace and power against make shift centre back Geoff Cameron, normally a midfielder, while Arturo Alvarez played further then the rest of his attacking counterparts on the right wing.

Game started well as we took the lead in the 9th minute. Arturo Alvarez jinked passed a man before whipping a ball into the back post which Andre Luiz headed home. We was 2-0 up a few minutes later as Ramiro Corrales’s shot from 30 yards was fumbled into the net by Houston goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale.

We held out the rest of the game, and has several other chances to increase the score, but in the end it finished 2-0.

Quake Goalscorers: Andre Luiz, Ramiro Corrales

Quake MoM: Ramiro Corrales – For the second game in the role, the club captain moved into centre midfield from leftback led by example winning everything on the floor and in the air, creating chances and scoring a goal.

Manager Thoughts

A start to season which has exceeded expectations. We have been solid defensively, and although not brilliant going forward, we did create plenty of chances against Houston. Once the injuries lighten up and several players return from international duty, we will be able to push on.

Especially pleasing has been the form of Ramiro Corrales who has been brilliant at fullback and on this form, shouldn't be long before a return to the national team is on the card.

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I am going to change the format a little too short monthly updates, with the occassional match report for big games and an in depth 6 monthly update.

Anyway over April I beat Kansas City 2-0, LA Galaxy 1-0 and drew 3-3 with Chicago, and 2-2 with Seattle. Been creating plenty of chances but not finishing things off.

Scott Seally up front has been in brilliant form scoring 6 goals in the last 5 games, including a hatrick against Chicago. His combination of pace and power has caused defenders problems, and he is the most accurate shooter in the league.

Andre Luiz has had a good month despite missing the game against Seattle through injury. He scored a great freekick against Kansas and against LA Galaxy, he totally ran the game completing over 70 passes.

Arturo Alvarez was brilliant against Seattle playing in the hole. He created plenty of chances with his direct dribbling and flicks, while he managed to scrore two almost identical goals himself.

Disapointment of the month has to go to Geovanni who just hasn't been playing brilliantly. He had a decent game against Kansas with his runs causing all sorts of problems, but against Chicago, LA and Seattle, his dribbling has been wasteful and he just can't seem to find the killer pass.

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