Jump to content

[FM21] EXPERIMENT - National Soccer League (NSL)

Recommended Posts

2025/26 NSL

Winners: North Dakota

Apologies for this, but the slightly later reporting (in January 2027 in-game) means that full fixture details are not available for the final, and all we can see is that North Dakota defeated New York on penalties in both states' first final.  This was certainly a surprise, given that North Dakota finished fourth in their group in the regular season, but the NSL is not their first silverware, having won the NSC last season.  Some big names fell away in the first round of the playoffs, in Massachusetts, Colorado, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and Alaska had to make do with their third consecutive NSL playoffs semi-final without having once reached the final.  Alaska did however win their U23s division this season for their first title there, along with Colorado (third title), Connecticut (second title), and West Virginia (first title).




Link to post
Share on other sites

2025/26 NSC

Winners: New Jersey

Some pretty major gremlins in the NSC this season, with New Jersey somehow going through to the final despite being beaten by Alaska.  Indeed, the 2-0 scoreline was only from the second leg, which was somehow played before the first leg (which NJ won 2-1 so "lost" 3-2 on aggregate).  Not sure what happened here - perhaps some impact from Alaska's involvement in the NACL?  Anyway, New Jersey made the most of the mess-up to beat Hawaii in the final; like the NSL final, these were two teams contesting their first final.



Link to post
Share on other sites

2026 NACL

Winners: image.png.a8bcd73e4b6d728df271f661e5ff39e4.png Nevada

Another year, another domination of the NACL by US sides, who again were only ever defeated by other US sides.  Indeed, ever tie between US and non-US sides was won by at least three goals, as no teams from other nations even came close to an upset.  Nevada won their first NACL title, joining Michigan, Colorado, and Massachusetts in winning both the NACL and NSL.  Massachusetts remain the only side to have won all three major titles (in the NSL, NCL, and NACL) at some point in their history, though Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and North Dakota are now each just one trophy away from joining them.  Who will be first, I wonder?




Link to post
Share on other sites

2026 FIFA World Cup

Winners: image.png.3327fd9c2eba4164eef6e68eab4e13a7.png Brazil

The first World Cup held with the new 48-team format, and it was a North American extravaganza.  Hosts Mexico, Canada, and the USA all took advantage of the 2-from-3 group stage format to advance to the knockout stages at the expense of some far smaller footballing nations, but only Mexico made it any further than that.  Even then, Mexico lost on penalties to the South Africans, who were one of four surprising quarter finalists along with Norway, Slovakia, and Greece.  However, all four of these quarter final minnows lost out to the established World Cup nations, and the final was held between two sides with 9 World Cups between them.  Would Italy draw level with Brazil at the top, or would Brazil go two clear?  The answer was the latter, with Brazil defeating Italy 4-2 in a match where both teams seemed to take almost every chance that came their way with aplomb.  France may have only made the Third Round, where they lost to eventual winners Brazil, but made waves in the Second Round with a mammoth 13-0 win over Zambia, in a match where they had 65 shots on goal.  





The World Cup dream team was almost exclusively Brazilian, with the winning nation's players packing the defence and midfield, with only one representative from England, Italy, and Nigeria (Golden Boot winner Victor Osimhen) apiece.  Brazil's attacking midfielder Reinier was the Golden Ball winner, with England's Aaron Ramsdale winning the Golden Glove, and the Best Young Player award going to Mexico and Arkansas striker José Alberto Esquivel.


Link to post
Share on other sites

2025 Ballon d'Or

Winner: image.png.3e86a4364ec50c1ede019e019fe82824.png Kylian Mbappé (Paris St Germain)


A second Ballon d'Or in a row for Kylian Mbappé, and his third overall.  He's now just two behind Cristiano Ronaldo, and three behind Lionel Messi, as he overtakes Ronaldo for third place outright.  At the age of just 27 (when winning the Ballon d'Or in January 2026; the above screenshot is from a year later due to bad planning on my part), he has plenty of time left to challenge the two greatest players of modern times.  Mbappé's Swedish PSG teammate Dejan Kulusevski finished third, behind Mbappé and Liverpool's veteran Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.

Edited by Dave.
Link to post
Share on other sites

2026 World Player Stats

A quick dive here into some of the stats of players in the world right now, on 1 July 2022.  As previously noted, these stats - of which what you see below is merely a snippet - are updated and collated each year on 1 July.  Each year, some interesting bits and pieces will be presented from time to time, or will be available on request (if possible). 

This year - and something I will be aiming to do in 5-yearly intervals - we have a view of the top 25 players representing North American nations - this is any nation forming part of CONCACAF, so includes continental North and Central America, the Caribbean, and three continental South American nations (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana).  I am not including those players of North American part-nationality who represent other nations (such as Raheem Sterling and Virgil van Dijk).  As can be seen, only four nations are represented on the list, with the USA dominating with 12 players.  Mexico have eight players, Canada have three players, and Jamaica have two players on the list.  14 of the 25 players on the list play in the NSL, and a further three play in Mexico.  One player plays in Brazil, and the remaining seven play in Europe.


Edited by Dave.
Link to post
Share on other sites

2026/27 NSL

Winners: Alaska

Alaska have been remarkably consistent in recent years, with this being the fourth successive season they have made it to the semi-finals of the playoffs.  Again, they saved their best showing until the post-season - after making tough work of qualifying in fourth place in Group A, and winning their first three playoff games by a single goal, they absolutely demolished West Virginia in the final - the 3-0 scoreline flattering WV somewhat.  Michigan found themselves challenging again, after several seasons without making it to the playoffs, while Colorado continued their streak of reaching every NSL post-season so far.  Missouri appeared in their first NSL playoffs, doing pretty well in winning their first game before going down in the quarter final to reigning NSC champs New Jersey.  In the U23s, Alaska were also victorious, winning their second title.  Nevada's U23s also won again (their fourth title), along with West Virginia (their second title) and New Jersey (their first).  If Nevada had not lost their penalty shootout to Michigan in the NSL playoff quarter final, the four best U23 teams would have been the same as the four best senior teams for the first time in the NSL's short history.




Link to post
Share on other sites

2026/27 NSC

Winners: Pennsylvania

Just like last season, both the NSL and NSC finals were contested between teams who had not reached the final before.  Pennsylvania were crowned winners of the NSC for the first time with a solid 3-1 comeback victory against South Dakota.




Link to post
Share on other sites

2027 NACL

Winners: image.png.a8bcd73e4b6d728df271f661e5ff39e4.png North Dakota

North Dakota become the second team to complete the set, having won the NSL and NSC in previous seasons.  They join Massachusetts as the only two sides to have achieved this feat so far, with MA sitting pretty on top virtue of having won the the NSC twice.  Saprissa become the first non-US or Mexican team to win a match in the NACL since Vancouver won two in 2022, while León become the first non-US team to make the final in four years, since América managed it in 2027.  León enjoyed an impressive win over New Jersey in the quarter finals, and a thrilling 4-3 aggregate win over Cruz Azul in the semis, before being decimated in the final by ND.





Link to post
Share on other sites

2027 International Competitions

Another year, another Mexican Gold Cup triumph - but one that came, this time, against a US side who in truth probably edged the game.  Cameroon won their sixth AFCON title with victory over first-time finalists The Gambia, who pushed Cameroon all the way in the final.  Over in Asia, both finalists had reached the showpiece for the first time, with Thailand earning a surprising and deserved victory over China.


2027 African Cup of Nations

Winners: image.png.a5c0f8c8f14f75e4f3c9678c65e7a491.png Cameroon



2027 Asian Nations Cup

Winners: image.png.aaa363f7c0c6b567f71db222b59e1ca6.png Thailand



2027 North American Gold Cup

Winners: image.png.81b94cec2c6574553341542e59d5442f.png Mexico



1 August 2027 World Rankings


Link to post
Share on other sites

2027 Euro-Americas Cup

Europe again earned dual victory, matching their feat of 2021.  This season, the Netherlands were the victors, with a tight but deserved victory over reigning European champions Ukraine, while Europe won against the Americas by the same 19-8 scoreline as they did in 2025.

National Winners: image.png.9fb6769eb0d754b8d61bf7cd2fd5521b.png Netherlands

Continental Winners: Europe (19-8)





Link to post
Share on other sites

2026 Ballon d'Or

Winner: image.png.3e86a4364ec50c1ede019e019fe82824.png Kylian Mbappé (Paris St Germain)


The unstoppable Kylian Mbappé wins his fourth Ballon d'Or, and third in a row, to put him two behind Messi and just one behind Cristiano Ronaldo.  He's still only 28!  Sweden's Dejan Kulusevski finished second this season, while Tete of Brazil finished third.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2027 World Player Stats

A quick dive here into some of the stats of players in the world right now, on 1 July 2022.  As previously noted, these stats - of which what you see below is merely a snippet - are updated and collated each year on 1 July.  Each year, some interesting bits and pieces will be presented from time to time, or will be available on request (if possible). 

This year - and again something I will be aiming to do in 5-yearly intervals - we can see in the data below of one measure of the quality of the top nations' best players, and their best (under 21) potential players.  What I have done is take the top 11 (i.e. a full team of players) CA players for each of the accepted top 10 world footballing nations (as far as I can tell without further diving into the data, the best 10 currently too, ahead of the likes of Nigeria and Uruguay who follow), and provided their best CA, 11th CA, averaged CA, as well as world rankings (by a CA then PA measure) of all world players.  I have then done a similar thing for the highest PA players aged 21 or under. 

These nations are then compared against the USA, to give us a sense of how the US player production is progressing.  As can be seen, the US sit - narrowly - below all of the top 10 nations in terms of best players, but there isn't really a lot in it any more.  However, with respect to the best youngsters, the US sit an impressive ninth, comfortably ahead of Belgium and Germany and only just behind the Netherlands and Argentina.  This would appear to bode well for the future of the US side, as they boast a rich vein of talent which is undoubtedly at least partially thanks to the NSL.  England are clearly in the lead in terms of best players, while Spain have a similar clear lead in terms of the highest potential youngsters.


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 22/01/2021 at 21:41, TheGreatTraveler said:

This is quite an interesting experiment, I wonder if the money will lead to the US becoming a global superpower and competing for the World Cup

Thanks mate!  Yes, that's the idea, and something we may see over time.  The above analysis of best XIs for CA and U21 PA for the top 10 nations + US appears to suggest that it's making an impact.  Too early to draw any conclusions yet, but it will be interesting to see what effect(s) this may have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...