#FM17 – Building a MLS Dynasty

Playing in Major League Soccer on Football Manager 17 is a challenge due to their salary cap and roster rules but it is easy to build that dynasty if your play your cards right.

  1.  The players that declare for the super draft are usually players that will need to go out on loan, regardless when they got drafted.

Lets get this straight.  Most of the players that are taken in the super draft are crappy players, especially you can get a better talent for a player of a similar age from a foreign nation on loan.

2.  MLS clubs that own USL clubs (LA Galaxy, RBNY, Orlando City, etc) are at an dramatic advantage over the clubs that don’t go that route.

USL is a great place to loan out your academy graduates and draft picks.  Make sure to use that custom database that unlocks the NASL and USL.  To ensure they get playing time, use a second head coach profile for that USL team.

3.  Look for bargains through transfer listed players and the waiver wire.

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Atlanta United made the mistake of putting this player on the waivers at the start of the 2017 season and I promptly made a claim.  I was awarded this player and before the season was over he was already a key member of the first team.

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Chivas transfer listed this guy but in real life is usually a first choice player or one of the first players off the bench for the RojiBlancos.  Cost me just 1.5M, key player for most MLS clubs to the point a DP slot is necessary, but importantly he is just getting into his prime.

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Use the waiver drafts to steal young talent, like this guy with high potential that I drafted in the 2016 draft from Houston.  Already a regular in the first team, usually as an starter or one of the first players off the bench.

4.  The academy intake day is very important.

Always save on December 25 (the 26th if the date turns out to be the 27th).  You have no control on what players come in, so you need to be able to reload your game if the intake is god awful.  Homegrown players are very important as it not only saves you money, but the MLS roster rules are much more lenient to those types of players.  Leave them in your academy unless they are about to age out (do not sign them until the window opens in December unless your team has been decimated with injuries).

5.  In real life the attendance at USL games have soared and for good reason:

Almost every MLS club has realized that the competition there is tough and have used it as a bridge between the academy to the first teams.  Other players go there with the hope of showcasing their talent to a bigger club.  If you unlock that editor file make sure to have a second head coach profile and control their playing time.

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Disgaea 5 – item world end game update

I had not had a lot of time in the game except on Sunday afternoon due to the fact I am working 6 days a week with my employer and most of my spare time has been limited to Sundays.  Since it takes roughly 2 hours to do an 100 day curry in an item world, I preferred to do it when I have more than 3 hours of spare time on the weekend.

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This is an item that just hit Kill Bonus 400 and has an training bonus of 295.

Notes to keep in mind:

  • Kill bonus until 400 does not add any stats.  Each point over 400 adds an fixed stat percentage increase but you will not truly find out that value until the item is level 9999.  Innocents have no impact on kill bonus.  Once at level 9999 the fixed increase is 2000 per kill bonus increase beyond level 400.
  • Training bonus is an multiplier.  It only works with the basic stat innocents that is shown in this image.  It goes by X being the Training Bonus and it is multiplied with the percentage of the innocent value and the item level.  Thus at first the bonuses when leveling an end game item in this manner will be very small at low levels but at level 9999 it will be almost as high as the stats that are naturally on the item.

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The math is that we will have to subtract 50000 from the innocent value and the value gained by the kill bonus (KBB = [CKB – 400]4000) and now the bonus gained from the item that now has training bonus 377 just from training bonus modifiers is 8064.  Diving that number from item level gives you 5.376, which you now divide from training bonus and the multiplier is roughly 0.014.  This will explain why the number does not increase every time the item levels up.

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To prove it, this is from a Glimmerblade with max training bonus of 3260, max item level, and a Kill Bonus of 450.  We will use the stat modifier of DEF, as the modifiers from HP are different than the modifiers of the other stats.

DEF of 2299976 – first we subtract the kill bonus modifiers because that is added after the training bonus so we will have to subtract 200,000 from that stat.  Now we have the training bonus stat of 2099976 which goes into the math equation where it is divided by item level and training bonus.  We first divide by item level and it will give you 210.018, and then by training bonus that now gives the bonus of 0.064.

This shows that the multipliers for Rank 40 item is somewhere between 0.014 and 0.064 but now the math is complicated.

#FM17 – evaluating prospects

While the scouting reports have improved in Football Manager 2017, the main trick is watching for the top prospects in the world as soon as they pop up in the game.

  1. Gauge the players stats – what you are looking for is several numbers in the double digits – particularly Determination, Work Rate, and Teamwork.
  2. Player personality – you are looking for positive traits such as Driven, Ambitious, Determined, and Professional.
  3. Natural Fitness stat – while you have no control about training this, players with higher natural fitness stats hold up better in the top flight.  These players are less likely to succumb to injuries.

Do not go with the star ratings by the scouts – those star ratings are affected by world reputation AND league reputation and have little to do with current ability of your player.  Instead you are looking for in the scouting report “suited for XXXX” with the X being your current league.

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This is why some of the top Football Manager YouTubers such as Jenkaldo always have the live editor enabled.  With the live editor enabled, you can see the current and potential ability as a number, not as stars:

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This makes it easier to determine whether to accept or reject youth candidates on intake day.

When it comes to scouting first team players, the process is similar:

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While the scouting team has doubts with this player, he has very few negatives.  Given he is a free transfer I would had made a bid for him if it wasn’t for the fact I already got a first choice GK and two decent backups behind him.  Sometimes the best roster moves you can make for your first team are the free transfers as every season a decent player or two is let go.  Even though this player has a current ability of 160-170, the scouts only gave him two stars – why?  He does not have a high world reputation at all.

#FM17 – The Monaco way

In real life AS Monaco has been known as one of the top clubs in the French Ligue 1, even though they are based in a tiny neighboring nation.  The nation they are based in is Monaco, and the club name is based from that nation, and the colors are the same colors of the nation.    This nation is so tiny that they are the only football club in the nation, thus the reason why they play in France.

In recent years the club had fallen on hard times due to financial fair play violations (which included a forced relegation in 2003 per French rules which was overturn only on appeal) and as recently as 2012-2013 was playing in Ligue 2.  It was around that time that the club made a change in philosophy of buying young prospects as soon as they legally could do so and put them straight into their first team or their main reserve team.  It was when they brought in Claudio Ranieri as their manager and the team started buying an handful of U23 prospects that he identified and rebuilding their youth team with proper scouting.  While Ranieri did leave at the end of the contract, the team was back in Ligue 1 with tons of exciting young prospects and eventually made a run in the Champions League.

The strategy

Three simple philosophies are based in the Monaco Way including:

  1. Buying top prospects as soon as they are able to, namely from Africa where France has lenient foreign player rules regarding those players.  This includes 16 years old for most EU nations, and 18 for South America.  The focus is the nations where it is easier to buy the players for five or six figure deals, not in nations where it costs at least 7 figures for a 16 year old.
  2. Avoiding the loans unless the player is already homegrown, the player is too old for the academy, OR it is clear that the player has no chance in making the first team.  Sometimes the loans are necessary due to France having a strict non EU rule.  The loans are usually done to the Belgium club Cercle Brugge, which is a nation that has much more lax rules regarding foreign players, or to Portuguese club Rio Ave (another nation with lenient foreign player rules), but occasionally to Ligue 2 clubs.
  3. Only buy players as roster spots allow in only the positions of need

When it comes to the bigger clubs wanting to buy their first team players, usually it comes down to whether or not the player is unsettled and the most important aspect: is there a player (substitute, out on loan, reserve player) capable of making that player expendable.  Almost every season at least one key player is sold but not before the club had made a 8 figure profit.

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While typical Monaco techniques is to buy cheap prospects they rarely go with a large first team or reserve team.  They only buy to fill in the roster spots, partially due to the severe punishments that French teams face for violating domestic financial fair play rules.

How Monaco does this is the use of proper scouting, making use of scouting knowledge and the best scouts.  Their focus is Eastern Europe, Africa, and South America.  They have dipped into North America from time to time but the talent is not what they prefer and those players count as non EU slots, where in South America the talent pool is much better.

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Staff often come and go in the top flight but their staff members often come from several nations that the team often scouts players in.

Pulling this method off in Football Manager 2017 can be tricky but if you can do it right your club is simply reloading even if your best players keep getting sold.

#FM17 Bypassing the MLS Superdraft

If you have noticed MLS clubs may only sign youth players from their own academy in Football Manager 17.  So what if your rival team has a nice prospect that you really want that is in their academy?

The good news is that there is a way to get around the Superdraft but it will require some clever thinking.

Basic requirements:

  • Two head coach profiles, one for the MLS club of your choice and the other for a FOREIGN club with somewhat decent reputation in a nation where foreign player rules are very lax.
  • The use of editor to make the two clubs affiliated with each other may be necessary but there are some clubs that are already affiliated with.  To make things easier for yourself use the live editor but I have done this without.

Now the trick is

  • Always save the day before the youth intake date in the USA.  You actually have no control on which youth players come into the academy but you can keep reloading the save if the intake is awful.
  • Have your foreign club sign the prospects of the rival clubs around their 18th birthday.
  • Buy or loan the players the ensuing transfer window for a small fee.
  • Repeat

The best combo to run this is with Sporting Kansas City and Flumeinese – SKC has a B team and both sides got respectable youth setups.  Any other combo will need live editor but I had past success with SKC and Sporting Portugal.  NYRB is another good club to pull off the trick by using any of their European affiliates.

The main trick is trying to work around the MLS roster rules but with young players this is easier to do with the salary cap and by the time they are 22-23 the big boys are interested and you can flip the talent for profit.

How does this method works?

The Superdraft only applies to Amateur contract players based in the USA and Canada.

#FM17 – flipping young players for profit

I seen the one post about a player that did a revenue flipping technique for loans.  My approach (which I did in FM16 but not on a large scale) is simple:

  • Buy players on Amateur or Non Contract between the ages of 16-20
  • Buy only players with high potential
  • Sell to another club within 3 to 5 years

There are some databases you will need enabled.  First database is the USA.  Any database of a amateur club or a semi-professional club that always issues non contracts or amateur contracts (most of the African clubs in smaller nations go in this manner along with a lot of the smaller European nations) should also be enabled.

For the league, you should only go to a nation that has lax rules about foreign players.  Portugal and Gibraltar are two of the first choice nations (you will need a custom database for the latter.  Other nations with relatively lax rules include Belgium, Holland, Belarus (only in their top flight), Germany (10 year nationality rule is a drawback and can only do it in the top flight), and Sweden.  Portugal is a favorite of mine because you only need two homegrown players in the match squad in the top flight and as long the current ability is 95 or higher your player is suited to the division.   For FM17 an added bonus for Portugal was that the roster size limits were increased considerably along with when players could be registered, giving you more lee way on signing U19 players.  The roster rules are somewhat tighter in the lower tiers but all they care about is homegrown players.

With this setup I can bring in 10-15 players for less than 15,000 total (mostly in agent fees) at the age of 18, and by the time they are 19 or 20 another club sometimes pop in with bids.  You want bids at least in the 6 figures if their potential is above 140 and 7 figures if above 160.  The longer you hold on to them, the offering price will only go up, especially if they are a first team regular.  With the Americans, the MLS clubs will realize that this is a good way in circumventing the MLS draft and will often bid each other up and in most cases do not have to blow a DP slot.  As a result a lot of MLS clubs have set up affiliation agreements in Portugal on a real life basis with the big clubs.

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AFTER
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Turning a free transfer into a pure $170K profit with future add ons – always excellent piece of business.

#FM17 – Ukraine Large Club Homegrown Challenge

Download on Steam Workshop

I been trying this with Ukrainian clubs for a few days and tweaking the custom database.  Before I show the screenshots of this challenge here are some things you will work with:

  • Youth intake age is 14
  • The reserve teams are Reserves and U19
  • The three biggest clubs are banned from making transfers but have the best facilities to compensate.  The smaller clubs can transfer all day long.
  • Minimum age to play in senior matches is 17
  • No roster sizes but no more than 7 foreign players in the matchday squad.
  • Youth intake day is random between last week of February to the second week of March.

Want to play for the 3 major clubs?  Good luck in developing the youth.

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Your youngsters can’t play until their 17th birthday, making loans pointless.

You are allowed to keep existing players on the big clubs and you are allowed to loan out players.  Transfer rules have been adjusted so nobody can buy your players before their 18th birthday.