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3

Weretigers move ahead of Chipmunks

Foica
Foica’s talented head

For their 5th match of the season, Weretigers headed to Washington D.C. to face the 2nd place Chipmunks F.C. with a chance to pass them in the standings. The Chipmunks were rather banged up with four of their regular players injured and had probably overperformed up to this point. Road wins are hard to come by, but this looked like the perfect opportunity.

Weretigers wasted no time getting to work and once again it was their new wingers that got things started. This time it was Alonso Foica who finished a corner from fellow winger Flip Tax to put Weretigers up 1-0 after just 3 minutes. And then 5 minutes later they did it again, sort of. It wasn’t another corner, but instead a nice pass from Tax that Foica headed in to make the lead 2-0.

22 minutes in, Bruno Spricigo proved that forwards can in fact score on this team when he added another goal to put the team up 3-0. That would be all they’d get, but it was more than enough. The Chipmunks picked up a late goal from Augius Čaminas but never really threatened in this one.

The victory moved Weretigers into 3rd place and knocked the Chipmunks down to 4th. The rest of the results in the series could not have been more favorable. Primrose, who was in 1st, lost in a shocker to Shiner Athletic. Also, Bankia beat Ingram, continuing Ingram’s misfortune and keeping them far away from Weretigers. Primrose’s loss combined with Weretigers’ win put the team just 1 point out of 1st.

Next week is a big week for Weretigers. They’ll host 2nd place Primrose FC, with a chance to overtake them, and perhaps even move into 1st, depending on how Pragmatism fares. Primrose is without a doubt the toughest team in the series. They have a very strong defense and midfield, so will be difficult to score against.

Match: Chipmunks 1 – 3 Weretigers
Goals: Foica (3′), Foica (8′), Spricigo (22′)

2

Scoring is easy

goal
There was a lot of this in week four.

Playing at home for the first time since their season opening loss, Weretigers’ offense woke up in a big way. The home team was hosting Shiner Athletic, who was 4th in the series, one place ahead. Flip Tax, who had tied the game up at the end last week, started the onslaught with an early goal just 6 minutes into the match. His fellow winger, Alonso Foica made it 2-0 before the half with a nice cross to Mattick.

The second half saw forward Albert-Jan Valten add to the lead in the 70th minute and it looked like Shiner gave up at the end as Weretigers scored a flurry of goals in the final three minutes to make the final score 6-0. The win moved Weretigers into 4th place and just 3 points out of 1st.

“This was a big win for us,” explained coach Wallevis in his post-game interview. “I liked our chances before the game. I thought we’d score a couple and it would be enough. Maybe 3-4 if we got lucky. I never dreamed we’d put the ball in the back of the net 6 times!”

Next week Weretigers will face the 2nd place Chipmunks F.C. on the road with a chance to pass them in the standings. The Chipmunks are more than a little banged up right now. They have 3 players that will likely miss the game due to injury, though they have already found a replacement for one on the transfer list.

Match: Weretigers 6 – 0 Shiner Athletic
Goals: Tax (6′), Mattick (40′), Valten (70′), Laksola (87′), Valten (88′), Foica (89′)

1

Weretigers steal a point in final minutes

Tax
Flip Tax remained calm and tied the game in the 88th minute.

For their week 3 match, Weretigers once again found themselves traveling to Georgia. This time they were facing Ingram F.c., one of the defensive powerhouses in the series. Ingram had gotten off to a bad start and was still looking for their first points of the season.

Weretigers played them tough. Despite being on the road, their midfield managed a small edge and their defense was able to match-up against Ingram’s offense, but their attacks could only get close on one wing, and even that was a bit of a stretch. On paper it looked like goals were going to be difficult to come by, and indeed they were.

The first half was quiet with just one dangerous chance for each team, neither of which found success. Ingram’s Bence Madai finally broke the silence in the 58th minute thanks to a nice cross from winger Amílcar Oliveira. With their defense and the way the game had been going, it looked like that might be enough to seal it for the home team.

Weretiger’s best chance to score seemed to come and go in the 77th minute when Flip Tax, another winger transfer from the off-season, missed a free kick. It looked bleak, but both the team and Flip himself would get another chance. In the 88th minute Flip finished a nice attack down Weretiger’s strong wing to tie the game and dash Ingram’s hopes of picking up their first victory.

The draw moved Weretigers down one place to 5th, as Chipmunks F.C. jumped into 3rd place after picking up 3 pts against Cedarville, the resident bot in the series. In week 4, Weretigers will face Shiner Atheltic at home with 4th place at stake. Shiner is strong defensively and has had a very weak attack so far, but recently sold two midfielders for a total of $1.5M and bought a forward for about the same sum.

Match: Ingram 1 – 1 Weretigers
Weretiger Goals: Tax (88′)

4

Weretigers pick up first Div V points

Plotnicki Laksola
Płotnicki & Laksola, first goal scorers for Weretigers in 57.

Weretigers picked up their first points in Series V.166 in unusual fashion, at least unusual for them. Their strength in their week two matchup against Bankia was their defense and set pieces. Strange indeed, for a team that normally runs a 2-5-3 and relies on it’s attack and midfield.

Weretigers fielded a 4-3-3 formation for the first time in a competitive game, gave up hope of controlling the midfield, and worked at producing counter-attacks. This choice seemed to catch even them by surprise. Apparently short on suitable defenders, they played Gonçalo Salazar in central defense instead of his regular inner midfield position. “I told you we were trying to prove midfield didn’t matter!” boasted coach Wallevis after the game.

It somehow worked. The defense held Bankia scoreless and Weretigers picked up two goals and moved into 4th place in the series. Stefan Płotnicki (Winger) picked up the first goal of the season on an indirect free kick that started with a counter-attack and Pellervo Laksola (Wingback) quickly added a second by finishing a corner with a header. Both players were recent transfers to Weretigers.

Next week, Weretigers will have to travel to Georgia and face Ingram F.c., who are still looking for their first points. They finished third in the series last season and have gotten off to a bad start this season, but are still dangerous.

Match: Bankia 0 – 2 Weretigers
Weretiger Goals: Płotnicki (30′), Laksola (31′)

4

Weretigers languid in Div V debut

Weretigers, hoping to get off to a good start, hosted Pragmatism in their first league match of Season 57, but things didn’t go as planned for the home team. Despite winning posession and matching up favorably elsewhere, they lost the game 2-0 and have yet to score a goal this season, including their cup match, which they lost 4-0.

Weretigers’ best chance to score came in the 6th minute of the game on an indirect free kick, but Forest Brockman couldn’t finish. Pragmatism made better use of their opportunities. Despite seeing less of the ball, Alfredo De Camillis scored two goals for Pragmatism, one in the 35th minute to give them the lead and the second in the 87th minute to seal the victory.

“Everyone and their mother will tell you that midfield is king, but we’re doing everything we can to prove them wrong,” coach Krijn Wallevis joked in his post-game interview. “Pragmatism played a touch match. They have a good team, especially their defense. Our approach was simple: win possession, play good defense, and focus on attacking from one part of the field. We chose the right wing, but just couldn’t get anything going there. It just didn’t work this time.”

Weretigers will now have to try to pick up some road points. They’ll visit Bankia and then Ingram for their next two matches. It’s the only time this season that they’ll play two road games in a row. Can they come back home with at least 3 points?

Match: Weretigers 0-2 Pragmatism
Weretiger Goals: None

4

Season 57 Preview

Team elo Fans Region TSI Wages Fav Formation
Primrose FC 2257 2147 VA 226,400 $77,384 4-5-1
Ingram F.c. 2191 2339 GA 344,910 $167,952 4-4-2
Shiner Athletic 2061 1538 TX 191,550 $37,872 4-5-1
Weretigers 2048 913 IL 102,380 $30,708 2-5-3
Pragmatism 2016 1886 OK 193,130 $65,996 3-5-2
Chipmunks F.C. 1960 1436 DC 151,850 $38,562 3-5-2
Bankia 1940 1537 GA 101,880 $27,918 2-5-3

These are the 7 active teams in the new series Weretigers find themselves. The 8th team, Cedarville AC, is a bot.

It looks pretty grim. Weretigers are 6th in TSI and wages, and reportedly are not looking to add a whole lot more. They measure up better according to HTEV’s elo system, where they’re currently 4th. Weretigers have been the most aggressive team in adding talent over the last couple weeks picking up 6 new players, though a lot of that is new winger trainees, who are still rather raw. Shiner Athletic and Chipmunks have spent more. Chipmunks added a goalkeeper for $578k and Shiner added two wingers for a total of about $900k. For comparison, Weretigers spent a total of $150k on their 6 new players, not counting wages.

When asked about this disparity, owner dmland12 admitted that “this is a tough series and I’m still being cheap. Most of that is out of necessity as we’re by far the newest team in the series and don’t yet have the income to support such large purchases and wages. Still, we plan on winning and I like our chances of finishing 4th or better. We’ve got the best attack, decent midfield and better specs than nearly every team.” It was probably no oversight that he failed to mention his team’s defense which looks to be one of the poorest in the series. Still, with no truly dangerous offenses here, maybe it will be enough.

Bankia, Shiner Athletic, and Primrose FC are also new to the series. Primrose auto-demoted from Div IV after a terrible season in which the team was overmatched most of the time, while Bankia and Shiner auto-promoted from Div VI, where they were mainly beating up on bots. The remaining teams were in Div V.166 last season and finished in the middle of the pack: Ingram (3rd), Chipmunks (4th), Pragmatism (6th). Polish Footballers finished 2nd last season but left for greener pastures, swapping to another series and getting replaced with a bot. Had they stayed, this might have been one of the top 25 or so series in Div V.

6

On to Div V!

CentaurHadrian
Centaurz vs Weretigers (Qualification Match)

With a chance to promote to Division V hanging in the balance, Weretigers traveled to New York to face the Centuarz. The match promised to be an offensive one, with neither team able to adequately defend the whole field. It didn’t disappoint.

Wasting no time, Mark Spears put Weretigers on top just 9 minutes into the match, only to see the score equalized just 6 minutes later by the Centaurz’ Juan Alberto Jiménez. What looked like it could be a close back-and-forth contest soon turned into a rout. Hagen Niederdränk put Weretigers back on top the very next minute and his team would add three more unanswered goals in the 1st half, entering half-time with a 5-1 lead.

With the game all but decided, the 2nd half was less eventful. Hagen Niederdränk added another goal to make the lead 6-1, but the Centaurz, who had the stamina advantage, looked better late in the game. They managed to salvage some pride and added two late goals.

The win advanced Weretigers to Division V.166 where they will take the Centuarz’ place. The Centaurz had been in the series for 4 seasons, with their best finish being 4th place (Season 55). This will be the first time Weretigers will play in Division V.

Next week we’ll use the season break to take a closer look at the new series Weretigers find themselves in. Stay tuned!

Match: Centaurz 3 – 6 Weretigers
Weretiger Goals: Spears (9′), Niederdränk (16′), Spears (27′), Brockman (39′), Spricigo (40′), Niederdränk (65′)

5

Weretigers prepare for qualifier by losing???

As expected, Amorica gave the Weretigers fits in the final game of the season. But it was much uglier than even the most cynical fan expected, a 5-1 blowout. The lone bright spot was Lewis Bender’s beautiful goal in the 18th minute which gave him the lead in the series “Top Scorer” competition over teammate Forest Brockman. That goal tied it up at 1-1 at the time, but it was all downhill from there. The loss snapped an 11-game undefeated streak in league play, during which the Weretigers went 9-2-0, rose to 1st place and eventually clinched the series title.

Fans of the team were less than impressed with the result and coach Krijn Wallevis had some difficult questions to answer after the game. “Look, of course we were trying to win,” Wallevis explained. “But, you must understand… Relic Armoured, pole company, Amorica, none of them matter anymore! We’ve set our sights on our next challenge: winning our qualification match next week and promoting to Division V!”

Weretigers certainly have a shot at it. They’ll be facing a USA Div V.166 team called Centaurz. Even considering that they’ll be on the road, with all of the disadvantages that brings, they’re the better team on paper. Through the first 13 weeks of the season HTEV.org gives the Weretigers the advantage in their elo system, 2030-1915. Hatstats.net has the Weretigers averaging more hatstats per game, 195.8 to 176.3 for the Centaurz.

“We certainly feel that we had a good draw for our qualification match and like our chances,” team owner dmland12 opined. “We match up well with Centaurz. Their main strength is their attack, as is ours. It should be an exciting match. We’re ready for them.”

Match: Amorica 1994 5-1 Weretigers
Weretiger Goals: Bender (18′)

4

Weretigers clinch 1st

trophyWe don’t have the trophy yet, but will we. Weretigers clinched their first Div VI title on the strength of our offense. We faced off against BSC Old Men, which had been the only team to beat us this season. Things were very different this time. For one we were at home, but also the Old Men had just MOTS’d their previous match in an attempt to secure 4th place, which they lost. We beat them easily 6-1. Their manager, Tangles, had been losing interest in the game for some time, and I guess this was the last straw. As of the time of this posting he had announced in the forums that he intended to quit and put nearly all of his players up for sale. Tangles, if you’re reading this, I wish you well.

It’s nice of course to clinch with a win, though this time it was unnecessary. The #3 team (Relic Armoured) beat the #2 team (pole company) in a bit of an upset. Even if we had lost, we would have guaranteed at least a tie for 1st, with a large lead in GD.

We’re playing Amorica 1994 on the road to close out the season. They’re in last place, but that’s rather deceptive. They have had absolutely rotten luck (-10.6 pts according to HTEV) and will probably be the favorite as no doubt they’ll be emptying the tank, while we’re preparing for a promotion match.

Match: Weretigers 6-1 BSC Old Men
Weretiger Goals: Niederdrank (22′), Gee (40′), Spears (42′), Gee (80′), Bubers (84′), Niederdrank (86′)

1

Start your engines

So, I’m giving this blogging thing a try.  I figure I might as well take my hattrick addiction up a notch. First, let me tell you a bit about my club, where it is and where I hope it’s going.

Weretigers are a fairly new club, having just started a few months ago on June 18th. We’re currently in 1st place in a competitive Division VI in the USA league. Most of the Div VIs in the USA are full of bots, with 0-2 human managers, but a some of us have used the series swapping feature to meet up in a competitive series, organized in the hattrick forums. So instead of facing bots most of the time, I’ve been playing a tough schedule.  My series is currently ranked as the toughest USA Div VI according to hatstats.net and is #2 according to htev.org’s rating system. Like I said: tough.  Still we find ourselves with a 5 point lead with 2 games to play and should be able to finish first.  We’re currently gearing up for a promotion match (since we’ll be well short of the auto-promotion line) and hope to be in Div V next season. But, we’ll take whatever comes.  😛

As for the future, I’ve been training forwards. I’ve just about gotten them to where I want with scoring training, and plan on adding some winger and passing skills next. I’m not looking to train super players, but nice well-rounded players that should help me stay competitive in the lower divs. There’s two more seasons left on my training plan, then I’ll see where I’m at and reassess. I could continue training them, or go another route.

In any case, thanks for reading and I’m planning on posting fairly often. One of the best features of the series I’m in is the active forum. I doubt I’ll find something like that if I promote to a random Div V, but maybe this blog can replace that as my outlet for discussing my team. Go Weretigers!