Toronto FC: Running the Reds with Football Manager

Games like the FIFA video game series and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager have brought soccer fans from around the world together with their favourite clubs, and clubs they have never heard of. I thought, why not see what Toronto FC would look like if we, the fans, ran it? Take a look below.

If you’re not familiar with Football Manager and you enjoy spending hours playing EA Sports’ FIFA Manager Mode, then you should go out right now and buy it!

Football Manager is a simulation based game, that puts you in charge of any club or nation in the game and see if you can lead them to glory. You can play in England’s eighth tier, or the Hungarian third division, there really is not limit to who you can manage. Especially if you download specific add-ons.

I decided to put our friend, Mr. Red, in charge of Toronto FC and see if we can do better than just making the playoffs. Mr. Red wants to see a MLS Cup at the Kia Training Ground.

Who is Mr.Red?

Mr. Red doesn’t have a first name. His parents decided to call him Mister when he was born. He was a previous soccer player in his youth, but spent more time in the lower divisions in North America. He was a product of Southampton’s accomplished youth academy, but later moved on to play in the U.S for clubs in the USL and NASL.

He called it a career at the age of 29, since he was moving around so much, and couldn’t find a team he wanted to stay with long term. His coaching career kicked off right away when he was 31, managing lower league sides and amateur teams.

He got his big break when he was assistant coach for the Rochester Rhinos from 2011-2014. It was there where he learned a lot from Rhinos coach Bob Lilley and started working towards managing a top team.

Red got a call from TFC president Bill Manning about running his hometown club, Toronto FC, and Red quickly said yes. This was Red’s first professional coaching job, and he doesn’t want it to end abruptly.

The Team

Courtesy of FM Touch 2016

Courtesy of FM Touch 2016

You may notice that Jozy Altidore and Damien Perquis are not in our starting XI. Well that is because they both got injured during the clubs pre-season fixtures and are set to miss some time. Altidore is expected back soon, but will likely miss one more game. As for Perquis, he will still need some time on injured reserve.

With both Chris Konopka and Joe Bendik having their contracts declined, Mr.Red decided to have Quillan Roberts make the first team over fellow keeper Alex Bono. Red also decided to loan United States U-23 and Molde goalie Ethan Horvat and include that TFC have the right to a future fee of $755,000.

Besides Horvat, Red is having trouble acquiring players domestically and abroad. None of the teams in MLS are interested in TFC’s players and want a ridiculous amount of money for their’s. Mr. Red is going to have use the waiver wire, free agency, lower leagues and the teams youth academy to bring in players.

Interesting note, Bundesliga side Frankfurt made an offer for midfielder Jonathan Osorio in the area of $2,000,000 plus incentives. Red decided to turn down the offer since Osorio is an important key to Toronto FC, but that looks to have back fired as the club could’ve used the money. What do you guys think, should Mr.Red sell Osorio to Frankfurt? Maybe there is still time to reach an agreement.

Pre-Season and the Start of the 2015 MLS Campaign.

TFC took part in six friendly matches with clubs from all over North America. The pre-season didn’t go the way Mr.Red and the club would’ve liked it to have gone. The club finished the pre-season with a 1-2-3 record, losing to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 5-2 and the Carolina RailHawks 2-1. Their only win came against PDL side Forest City London in which they scored three goals.

The season hasn’t been any better, as TFC are 0-2-1 in their first three games, getting outscored seven goals  to three and sit in last place in both the Eastern Conference and in the league.

It has been hard for the team to adjust to Mr.Reds style of play, which includes keeping possession, exploiting the middle, running at the defence, working the ball into the box and looking for the overlap.

Also, Sebastian Giovinco hasn’t been doing so well in this simulation for TFC, as the ‘Atomic Ant’ has failed to score in any of the clubs three MLS matches. However he has still been an important part of clubs attack.

Besides Giovinco being a top player on the team, others like Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou and Justin Morrow have all been the teams best players so far. Bradley is joint top scorer with one goal and Cheyrou leads the team with one assist.

This is the first instalment of our “Running the Reds” simulation and would greatly appreciate your feedback. Let us know who TFC should release or sign, what kind of style will help the team, anything you wanted to change this season let us know on twitter or Facebook and we will include it in our simulation. This is chance for you to run the Reds and win an MLS Championship!