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A Bet Made While Drinking; an MLS Story

A 3 player MLS game told from the prospective of one...
Started on 18 June 2014 by squirmy420
Latest Reply on 30 July 2014 by Feliks
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squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited

I woke up, and tasted vomit. Never, ever a good way to wake up. Firstly, it's gross. Secondly, it means when I open my eyes I won't be at home.

But I've never woken up in a different country before, much less in the center of the country. Salt Lake City to be precise. I could read it on the ticket that I'd woken up to find in my lap.

"Mr. Tumbler?"

"Mmm?" I managed.

"Mr. Tumbler O'Talisker?"


"I'm here to bring you to the stadium, Mr. O'Talisker."


"Rio Tinto, sir. Where you'll be taking over as manager."

The drive to the stadium was a quite cacophony of recollection for me. In the hour and half from the airport to the stadium, I lived roughly 46 hours over, in small, hazy brown windows.


Myself and my two good American friends, one; a Sunday league player named Cairo Crow, and the other; an ex American international player, with 28 caps to his name before a terrible injury ruled him out at only 26. Mind you, both these lads are quite a bit younger than myself, Tumbler o'Talisker (my parents had a cruel sense of humor)an ex Scotland international player, I'd managed 32 caps and 4 goals in my time with Scotland.

Anyways, myself and my two good American friends were out drinking at the local pub, The Snooty Pinhead, when we, in a mildly drunken glee came up with a nice little wager. We, 2 American and a Scot, would embark on a trip to the States, and do our best, whilst remaining in a drunken stupor, to become managers of one the MLS teams there.

Somehow, we'd all done it. Oliver with Colorado Rapids, who were without, and loved the idea of having him come in and continue to ply his craft in the sport with them.

Cairo, with Seattle Sounders, after somehow finding and cajoling Sigi Schmidt into early retirement.

And, myself... Somehow...


We pulled into the parking lot in Sandy, Utah. A little outside of Salt Lake City, and I got out of the car. My head was spinning. This wasn't a place for a place for me. The air smelled of exhaust, and of death, but from inside I heard the sounds of wondrous Footie being played, and it drew me like a moth to flame.

(Next update, prolly later tonight, will be squad upon arrival and whatnot. Thanks for reading, if you did, this is my first story. Feel free to read along with us in this adventure. I'm actually playing this game with 2 other players, and will be writing on the side, hopefully the updates don't ever outpace the gameplay! but in that event... I'll have to force my friends to play more!)
this is really well written out mate, good luck!
Well written! Try to add some images to change it up as you go on.
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited

Rio Tino Stadium. Home to Real Salk Lake, or RSL. I took a deep breath. This was going to be a long day, if I was going to have any amount of success as the manager, I'd have to make an impact immediately. First, I'd have to shake off this feeling that I was the one who had been duped into taking this job. Deep breaths... and onwards, down the tunnel...

This will be my home now. After another silly decision in a life of silly decisions that lead the footballer Tumbler o'Talisker to Salk Lake City, Utah, USA. I inherited a squad of semi decent players, Kyle Beckerman is an immediate stand out, he will be a rock for us as a deep mid fielder in front of the defense.

It's not a bad squad here, but with an aging striker, and one I've played against and dislike, I'm sure we'll see some changes in the squad before the beginning of the season.

My first plan is to bring in some new and talented defenders, as our team lacks overall in that department. No one has impressed me in stopping goals. It seems to me our strength as a team will be right down the middle of the pitch, so I'll be playing with a 442 diamond narrow, but we'll experiment early on, give the players a chance to stake a claim on the first squad and on the team. I may also let some faces go, from both defense and offense, and change the look of what is an aging squad.

First things first, to deal with Saborio.

"Oi!" I call out, as I take my first steps onto what will be my new home. "Lads! Gather up!"

Waiting a good 30 seconds for the squad to assemble and catch their breath, I cross my arms, and look them over. "I know many of you may be familiar with me. I have an extensive body of work, and while this is my first foray into coaching, I do not expect to be treated lightly. That I said, this squad does not have the strength to finish highly in this league. This will be a year to rebuild, and work for the future. I believe we can achieve a solid mid table finish this season. What do you lads think?"

"I think you're right, man." Kyle Beckerman stood up, his quality as captain already obvious. "No disrespect meant, man. We're a quality side, but this is a tough league, we'll need some serious work and effort to finish mid table."

"Thanks," I gave him a curt nod, but a warm smile. "Alvario, if I may have a word, the rest of you may go back to training."

"Alvario, your services will no longer be needed here. You and I know each other, and we know each others style. You won't fit in on a squad I'm in charge of, that said, I would like you to be happy, so I'll be listing you the moment I get the opportunity." He didn't say a word, just, a nod, and he went back to training.

Good to start things with a bang, I guess.

(join us in the next update, where I will call my mates! And do transfers in and out. Coming soon!)
good riddance i say ;)

Breaking News:

Italian team Livorno rumored to be in trade talks with Real Salk Lake manager Tumbler o'Talisker for the rights to Álvaro Saborío, while unconfirmed it it widely know that that Saborío has found himself on the wrong end of the scottish managers plans for the coming MLS season.

Breaking News:

Live media Press Conference with Mr. o'Talisker

Reporter 1: "Mr. o'Talisker! Is it true that Saborío will not be a RSL player much longer?"

Mr. o'Talisker: "Aye. It's true. Saborío and I have a history, having played against each other more than once and I know that style of player will not serve as the spearhead to any attack force I'll be tryin' to conjure up."

Reporter 2: "Livorno are rumored to be interested in the player, would you like to make any comments?"

Mr. o'Talisker: "I'll just come out and say it. We've agreed a fee with the general manager over there. It's a fair fee, around $875k and I'm hoping he'll agree to a contract and move his career along. That's enough for now."

Closing the curtain on the rabble of reporters someone had called to grill me, I rubbed my eyes and cursed my fortunes. Well... another press conference under my belt. I was beginning to get used to them, and I'd only stormed out once or twice when they'd gotten the best of me. Not bad for a Scotsman...

With Saborío on the out I had a huge chunk of wages to fill the cap with, and plenty of free agents to spend it on. I walked from the away from the press conference, making the 15 minute journey to my small office in the building, and logged onto my laptop. There were some contracts I needed to look over, I had a couple targets already.

Michael Stephens, having been released on waiver by LA, he's a perfect center midfielder for this squad. Especially considering Ned Grabavoy may be on his way out as well...

Bernardo Corradi, the ex italian international played last year in Montreal so he knows the league, and he's got loads to teach younger squad mates during our rebuilding year.

Finally, Artem Milevskyi, current Ukrainian international player, and could become a key to most defenses in this league. Not a natural goal scorer, but he'll play a deeper striker role, or, better yet, as a center attacking mid.

I'd been in talks with all three, and it was only a matter of time before we completed the contracts. Just the final tweaks here and there, and I'd have brought 3 key players in to replace one aging striker. Not bad, for having been here on a bet.

My phone buzzed on the desk next to my computer. I glanced at the name, Cairo, my American friend who'd taken over Seattle Sounders. This was bound to be good.


"Obafemi wants out... Have any draft picks?"

"Are you kidding me? I couldn't begin to afford his wages, plus, who do you have to replace him?"

"I've got a couple ideas... So, that's a no then?"

"I've got smaller fish to find and play, Cairo. Maybe someday I'll have your cash flow."

I chuckled and hung up, he was always getting into situations. But he always found his way out.

I guessed I'd better check up on Oliver, the ex international American. I dialed up his number, dealt with his annoying American comedian ring-back tone... and a recent squad report. We still needed to strengthen our defense. Our left side would be alright, but... we needed a center, and a right back something awful.

"This is Oliver, if you could rush this, I'm kinda busy."

"Oi! Oli, don't be such a cunt to your elders. It's Tumbler. How's Colorado? Hazy?"

"Wha?! Oh, HAAAA, yeaaa... actually, it's blue skies, always, out here."

"Hows the team?"

"It's great! Bringing in Nuno Gomes up top! He looks to be something special!"

"Bastard! I'd had a couple talks with his agent!"

"Looks like I'm not only better than you on the pitch then, eh?"

I hung up... That guy could get to be too much. And he was never better on the pitch, never.

I went back to the laptop, and began digging through possible right backs...

(NOTE: All my screens are from about halfway through the season, didn't know if I'd ever make a story, and this one is just too fun not to share, so that explains the players all be contracted to RSL)
Loving this so far, good to see you checking in on your buffoon friends ;) Also, Beckerman is a beast! :D
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited

Breaking News

Real Salt Lake propose trade with FC Dallas for Zach Loyd, possible future USA international Right Back, and at only 25 years old; their willing to give up both picks from their 2016 superdraft!

Tumbler o'Talisker was heard to have said, "Loyd is my kind of player. He likes to clatter up and down that right hand side, don't be surprised to see him chip in on the attacking side of the ball later on this season. First, we'll let him get comfortable here, with the lads, the city, the fans, then we'll give him more freedom and responsibility. He's a great capture for us, and I'm sure he'll be a key player here for years to come."

I closed the screen to my laptop after yet another video conference with the staff over at FC Dallas. That was, it, the final bit of hoopla. I'd brought in a 4th key player. Things were looking up for RSL. And the fans weren't treating me too poorly either.

Reveling in my good preseason fortune, I popped my laptop back open and opened to the MLS homepage.

Breaking News

In a shock transfer demand, Osvaldo Alonso has come forward with his desire to leave Seattle Sounders at the soonest opportunity. Osvaldo is another in a long list of players including striker Obafemi Martins to reportedly be unsettled under the leadership of Cairo Crow.

The defensive midfielder, who could go for as much as $7.5mil, says he's keen to move onto a new challenge as soon as the proper paperwork can be completed and a deal can be signed. Cairo is supposedly willing to accept as low as $3.5mil for the 27 year old.

I laughed, more holes for Cairo to dig out of. I had faith, plus, he had money. Those two things were enough to keep any manager employed. I made a note to call him next time I got a chance and brag about my squad harmony...

Further down the page I saw a smaller news article.

Colorado Rapids in bid for 22 year old Barcelona B goalkeeper, Oier Olazabal. Oliver Lee has reportedly offered a deal of up to $500k and is willing to offer the player a designated young player contract in the MLS. This is Lee's first big move in the transfer market after parting ways with center back Drew Moor for $625k earlier in the season.

Transfers in and out (as you can see, some waiver work was done to have a decent squad at different times during the season)
nice transfer dealings, and good luck for the season ahead
I'm all about Artem Milevskyi, I hope he does well for you!
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
9 yearsEdited
We had a tough two fixtures to start our season, two away games. The first against a very well established MLS team, San Jose Earthquakes, and the second against the capital city club, D.C. United. It'd be a tough ask to come out of either of those matches with a point.

We entered the Quakes stadium on a high from preseason. I told the lads to remain calm, we were huge underdogs coming here for the first game of the season. They scored first, but we managed to equalize two minutes through an audacious Bernardo Corradi effort. However it was in vein, as they scored two late goals to steal and secure the game.

D.C. United stomped us. Completely out played us, we allowed an 8th minute goal and we ended up having to chase the game from the go.

"The Siege of Rio Tinto," as it was described to me afterwards by my good friend and manager of the Colorado Rapids, Oliver Lee, was my first home game in charge of Real Salt Lake and the first leg of the Rocky Mountain cup, our rivalry trophy. Our rivals showed up in a good run of form, having bounced back from a first game loss to beat Philadelphia 3-1 in their 2nd game, and it showed on the pitch. The first half, we barley saw the ball, sat back and defended our lines. It was a rough 45, our passing wasn't connecting, Rimando, our goalkeeper, was being tested far too often for comfort and he would get beat eventually unless we played better in the 2nd half. I noticed as we made our way into the tunnel that Chris Klute was talking with Oliver and shaking his head, he also seemed to be limping slightly... I wondered if their right back would be able to continue...

The half time talk was interesting, I pulled Kyle Beckerman to the side, "Kyle, I'd like you to say something today, if you would."

"Sure, man. Anything for the team." I leaned in and whispered my idea in his ear.

I smiled and entered the locker room behind Kyle. "Lads, you've done alright today. We've worked hard, but I know each and everyone of you is capable of better. It's our first home game, and we all know how much our fans would love to pull the Rapids down a peg. We could use the points as well, as they'd start a great run of form and catapult us up the table."

"o'Talisker is right!" Said Beckerman from the corner he occupied silently until then. "We need to show these fans we're capable of having a great season! Come on lads, lets take our opportunities and really give our fans something to cheer today!"

We didn't score til a minute past the hour but when we did, it was beautiful. Zach Loyd won the possession deep in our half, and immediately picked his head up and played a pass forward to Corradi, who tapped the ball on a half volley out to Cole Grossman to beat his defender, draw a center back, and lob a perfectly waited ball into the box for Corradi to one touch control and half volley off the far post and into the lower corner of the net. It was the first time we'd had a lead this season, and first home game. It was a perfect moment, until I looked down the side line and saw Oliver and his sour face. His team was outplaying us, Corradi was just up to the task. I waved at Oliver as the player returned to the pitch to kick off. "Good riddance Saborio. Bernardo is up for the big matches." I muttered to myself.

He made my word more true on the strike of the 83rd minute, following a sub-par clearance from one of our corners, the ball fell to Enzo Martinez, who deftly flicked a header right onto Bernardo's foot inside the 6 yard box; who then unleashed a violent volley into goal to complete a brace and seal our first victory of the season.

"Quite a siege here in Rio Tinto," I heard Oliver's voice behind me, "I thought we'd have you in the second half but Rimando wouldn't be beaten today."

"Wouldn't have done better with a brick wall back there! I like the look of your squad, Oli, but I like the heart in mine better. Hahaha! The Siege of Rio Tinto, indeed. I'd be lying if I said that game hadn't added grey to my hair, lad! Hard break, better luck next time. You'll need it, if my friend Bernardo has anything to say about it!" I heard a whistle blowing somewhere on the pitch. "Time for me to celebrate! Don't have too hard a time finding your way to the bus!" I laughed again, and rushed onto the field to find the man of the hour. Corradi was already making quite name for himself in Salt Lake. 3 goals in 3 appearances, 2 in the only home leg we'd get against the Rapids.

(Next update will be another 3 match update, as I play FC Dallas, Zach Loyd's old team, Seattle, and Colorado again. So 2 of the 3 matches will be games against my friends and get more coverage because of it. However I will eventually move into updates that cover larger portions of the season)
Great start here! Unlucky results but hey, you pulled it back together against Colorado.

After playing our first home game, we had a road game in Dallas. Zach Loyd was excited to get down to the stadium and make the rounds with his old mates. I could tell he was still missing what had been his home for a few years, but he was beginning to gel with the squad, and I could tell his potential would lead him to being a key player, if not a star in the MLS within a year or two.

After watching my team struggle to retain the ball in the last two matches, I switched things up to the narrow 442 diamond we'd been training. We played well, actually holding onto the ball and completing a large number of our passes, but FC Dallas caught us twice on the break, finding the goal through attacking winger Joseph-Claude Gyau both times. Unlucky result, given how we played.

Next, we traveled back to Salt Lake, to host the Seattle Sounders, and my good friend Cairo Crow. Having won our only home game so far, I set our sites on making Rio Tinto a fortress. We played well, our new formation really clicking and it was a battle we looked more than up for. We kept trying their keeper, and looked really dangerous on the offensive side of the ball for the first time this season, managing to conjure up 4 clear cut chances. However, we couldn't beat the Sounders keeper, and despite being outplayed Cairo looked quite pleased when the whistle blew at the end of the day, especially considering that would be Seattle's first points on the board. Needless to say, I was miffed. Despite playing well, we were not clinical enough in front of the goal. Something we'll need to fix before we travel to Denver to take on the Rapids next week.

Coming into Dicks Sporting Goods park for the second leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup, the energy was palpable, and the crowd was feeling it as well. Chants of "Who are ya?!" and "Glory, Glory Colorado," rang throughout the grounds. It was time for my team to shut these lads up.

I gathered my team up as we entered the tunnel. "A win today and we take the trophy, boys! Lets get out there and show these Rapids what we're all capalbe of!" I clapped Beckerman on the back as the player as the players left the tunnel at a trot onto the pitch. "One more thing! Have some fun with this one!"

Have fun we did. Loyd started a wonderful counter attack in the 7th minute, playing the ball to Michael Stephens, who played a lovely one touch through ball to Bernardo Corradi and beating the high defensive line of Colorado, Corradi was then brough down in the box by Chris Klute, who saw yellow for going to ground on a rather clumsy challenge. Artem Milevskyi, playing for the first time at center attacking mid, stepped up to take the PK and sunk it with ease, looking calm and composed. With the 7th minute goal, we continued to put pressure on the Rapids, keeping them pinned in their half. Oliver was looking grim on the sideline, unhappy with the penalty his team had given away.

17 minutes later, in the 24th of the game, Michael Stephens knocked a corner in towards the near post and Chris Schuler's head, only for Schuler to be dragged to the ground by Nick LaBrocca. The ref immediately called for another spot kick, and Artem delivered the goods yet again with a wonderful effort. We we're up and cruising, and the Colorado crowd had gone quite enough to hear the jeers. Lovely effort, lads. At least we can score from a penalty.

We finished off our scoring efforts in the first half, when, after a corner cleared by captain, Kyle Beckerman, Enzo Martinez played a lovely pass from deep into our half for Robbie Findley to scamper onto and finish with aplomb. It was a lovely goal, and clearly one that will give Robbie some confidence going forward. Easily a goal of the week. 3-0 away from home before halftime, we've got this game in the bag lads. Well played.

It wasn't until the 59th minute that Colorado pulled back a goal with a lucky moment. Having played some lovely passing football, Colorado got the ball out to winger Brian Mullan, who's effort hit the near post off the glove of Nick Rimando, to bounce directly into the goal mouth where Dillon Powers happily finished into the open net. When the final whistle blew, I quickly pulled the team together. No need to celebrate in Dicks Sporting Good Park, not in front of an away crowd. We'd stolen the rivalry trophy today. Oli didn't look pleased as he retreated down the tunnel with his down trodden team.

A win, 3 points, and a very important one. To bring home some silverware, even a small trophy like the Rocky Mountain Cup feels good. Especially considering I'm only here on a whim, but I am starting to feel at home here with this squad. Good lads, every one of them.

A good three games. It brought our points total for the season up to 7, putting us mid table in the MLS and into a playoff spot in the western conference! I also got to see and play both my mates! Although a draw against Sounders felt unjust, we deserved another home win, we'll take the point. And with a win today in Colorado the team looks poised to assault the upper reaches of the table. Granted we're only 5 games in, but confidence is high. Hell... even Robbie Findley is scoring.

In fact, we'd find out later that week that Robbie Findley's goal against Colorado was voted the best goal of the week. Really something for him to take forward into the next couple games, as he's earned himself a starting spot with Artem falling back into a central attacking midfield role as first choice over Javier Morales. Morales... might be on his way out of my squad.
good 3 games there squirmy.

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