New York, New York

  1. New York, New York

    As you will see, this is a story which has taken many unexpected twists and turns. I am about 4 1/2 years into a current save which started out, and still is, an attempt on something similar to the Pentagon challenge.

    So far it has taken me across two continents with one domestic title and one domestic cup to show for my efforts, one with Alianza Lima and one with New York Red Bulls. For someone raised on English football, the Peruvian league and MLS are two of the most foreign to me in terms of style, rules and format which has made the experience all the more interesting.

    I have detailed background and a bit of history below. Let me know if you have any questions as I've learned loads about different players and the respective leagues, particularly the MLS.

  2. New York, New York


    Our hero's story began, along with his career, in England. Having enjoyed an unremarkable youth career at his beloved Newcastle United, he spent most of his years as a professional footballer on the bench and being sold for gradually diminishing amounts. A more successful season at Huddersfield Town appeared to revive his career before it was swiftly ended in 2011 at the tender age of 20 through a recurring knee injury.

    Our hero would not be stopped however, and instead embarked upon a dream. The dream of winning a continental trophy on each continent to become the greatest manager that ever lived.

    He reinforced his reputation as a determined and robust player as a coach in training, making few mistakes and fewer friends on his short journey to gaining his coaching badges. As an outspoken critic of the FA on many issues, including women's role in football, doping, corruption and youth development, he became a media-friendly advocate of change. Increasingly, however, this meant our hero was ostracised from the coaching community and failed to secure so much as a junior coaching role in the UK, let alone his first managerial post.

    Downtrodden and disheartened, our hero backed away. He took a sabbatical from coaching and travelled the world: eating, learning and living as he wanted for the first time in a long time (perhaps even the for the first time in his life). Yet fate has a funny way of working, and one night in a bar in sunny Miraflores (a district of Lima, Peru's capital), our hero winds up in a conversation with a local football fan about Peru and Newcastle United legend Nolberto Solano. That weekend, he is invited to attend a game at Alejandro Villanueva, the stadium of local team Alianza Lima.

    As managerless Alianza are trounced by local rivals Cristal, our hero raves at the teams shortcomings including, as he saw it, a lack of passion and style. This loquacious foreigner attracts plenty of attention and soon becomes involved in a conversation with a woman who takes particular interest in his ideas. The woman is Susana Cuba, chairwoman of a penniless team, who, weeks later after a hard season, decides to take a chance on a young, inexperienced foreign manager to lead Alianza back to glory.
    Last edited by DJWillis; 30/12/2015 at 04:51 AM.

  3. New York, New York

    Season 1: Alianza Resurgent

    Despite a difficult opening period in the Torneo del Inca, Alianza soon begin to find their feet and style, if not consistency, with a 4231 formation.

    Young Peruvian stars Christian Cueva and Víctor Cedrón light up Los Intimos' wing play and contribute with goals and assists. Paulo Albaraccín provides a steady base in midfield.

    And the Uruguayan-Armenian beast that is Mauro Geovgeozian leads the attack.

    Important contributions are also made by Julio Landauri, Wilmer Aguirre and loanee Luis Trujillo.

    Despite regaining some form and class, Alianza cannot capitalise and fail to make it to the league final. 3rd place overall does however represent a significant improvement on last season and qualification to the Copa Sudamericana.

    New York, New York-2014.jpg

    Problems, however, are on the horizon. The club is losing money at a rapid pace and, although the manager is able to snap up Geovgeozian on a free in an astute piece of business after his loan ends, the reality of administration is just around the corner.
    Last edited by DJWillis; 31/12/2015 at 04:42 AM.

  4. Season 2: Administration is no barrier to success

    The next season looked increasingly bleak for Alianza as the administrators came in and promptly sold, or accepted loan offers for, any player who showed signs of good form and demonstrated an important role in the team.

    After a shaky start, Alianza began to find their feet. Young stars Cueva and Cedrón were both sold to bigger Latin American clubs whilst Albarracín went to Europe. Other key players who had developed strongly through the first season, including Diego Donayre and Josimar Atoche, also left the club, as did club legend and former captain Walter Ibáñez.

    The sale of a number of wide attacking options forced the manager to rethink and shift to a 4-3-3 DM Narrow system, using two attacking full backs, a BWM DM, BBM and Roaming playmaker in midfield and three narrow strikers in various roles up front.

    Thanks to early season sales it had been possible to make one signing at the start of the season, Victor Rossel from Sport Huancayo. Rubén Valladares, an unattached right winger, had also been brought in at the end of the last season and, despite protests from staff, was remolded into a dynamic BBM (and later Vice Captain). Young midfielder Alex Franco came through the youth system to complement the starting 11.

    Despite ongoing sales and a leaky defence, Alianza relied on direct football and a highly effective front three to go on an impressive winning streak which saw them win no less than 16 games in the First Phase. They finished the phase top and continued their form throughout the second, setting up a league final with arch rivals Universitario.

    New York, New York-winning-run.png

    New York, New York-2015.jpg

    Over two legs, the Us managed to limit the scoring power of Guevgeozian, Rossel and Aguirre over two legs, but Alianza triumphed in the replay with goals from captain Walter Vilchez and Wilmer Aguirre.

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