(Part two of the recurring series testing the simulation limits of FIFA 17. Formations, players, transfers, etc. are decided by me; all matches are simmed.)
After three months of the MLS season, or 12 matches, we decided to sit down with current Chicago Fire manager Steve Ferrigan to get his thoughts and feelings on the state of the team.
It’s been rough. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I decided to go with the 3-1-4-2 to start the season; I thought we did well in that system in preseason.
Losing Alvarez in the first match, that was a tough break (no pun intended). We don’t have a lot of wide players, so that forced us to move Accam back to the wing, and try a few different forward pairings to see who meshed well with de Leeuw.”
April was a busy month. We had five matches, four in the League and one in the Cup, so there was definitely some changes to the lineup. We also worked a little bit on expanding the Academy. We brought in a few kids that I think can grow to be great players someday. I know the Academy was a focus from the bosses upstairs, so I’m really proud of what we’re putting together in that aspect.
April 20, yeah, I guess I will remember that date from now on. It was a huge victory. After a long 120 minutes, to still have the wherewithal to score five penalties was a testament to the team. I mean, the Chicago Fire are known as the “Kings of the Cup” and that’s definitely a tradition that I take seriously. I’m glad we moved on. It would have been easy, especially with the season we’ve been having, to stumble at the first hurdle. I look forward to the next Cup match.
With Accam on the wing, I decided to go with a 4-2-3-1. I wanted to funnel all the goals through de Leeuw. Losing LaBrocca for 5 weeks was a blow, but we’ve got good cover in central midfield.
May. (exhales deeply, for what seems like an eternity) May was rough. At one point, our trainers were telling me that we had 24 out of 27 guys on a run of poor or bad form. That’s tough to climb out of. At that point, you put your best XI out there and just trust them to grind through the low points in the hopes that the high points are coming. And I really believe they are. We’ve got a good network of scouts, we’re looking over reports from our guys about players from all over the world. But, for now, we’re still looking to get the best out of who is here right now.
The 4-4-2 was about getting us back to basics. de Leeuw has scored half of our goals (4/8), and I didn’t want that burden to be so heavy on him. I wanted him to have someone he could work off of, someone who he could create for when the opposing defense focused on him. And as far as Goossens missing 3 penalties this season: we’re looking at that. We’ll definitely give him some more time to practice penalties. And maybe look at who else would want to step up if the situation arises.
I think there are plenty of reasons to stay positive. I mean (laughs) it’s my job. We’re not even to the halfway point of the season. I think this team can put a run together, I really do.
Worst record in MLS history? (sternly) I’m not talking about that.