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Postby Chromatika » Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 pm

Matchday 18: Garifunya 2–2 Chromatika
Goals: Sierra '41, '72
Starting Lineup: Williams; McBee - Ibex - Anderson; Rien - Mora - Armageddon - Kuzami - Han; Gail (C) - Sierra.
Substitutes: Xe -> Han '56, Austic -> Anderson '71, An-> McBee '83
Game Summary: Cosnoelta had gifted the Chromatiks with a golden opportunity: Hold the late lead against Garifunya, and steal the first place in the group. Alas, it was Ali Wijkstra that snuck by Ibex in the eighty-ninth and sealed the Chromatiks' fate to the Playoffs.

The Chromatik Roster: Grades Through Qualifying

And with eighteen games played, let us look at each of the players and how they've fared up to this point:

Jillian Nier: Starts: 2 Goals Allowed: 2
Mia Ria: Starts: 3 Goals Allowed: 1
Nika Justus: Starts: 2 Goals Allowed: 2
Sherlyn Joy: Starts: 5 Goals Allowed: 7 Captains: 3
Nova Williams: Starts: 6 Goals Allowed: 4
The Rundown: It's not really sure if Jillian Nier or Mia Ria should be the starting keeper for the Chromatiks. Parker will probably allow each one a start in this upcoming playoff ties against Nova Anglicana.
Biggest Surprise: Nika Justus continues to revitalize his career after turning thirty, only conceding one goal in two starts. If it wasn't for Joy and Williams taking up so many starts, he would've had some more chances, but he still impressed. Most likely to be the third keeper.
Biggest Letdown: Sherlyn Joy, for all her good in the Chromatik League, has let in seven goals in five starts, all against not-so-good competition. Perhaps she's best just being with Tihon. With her also being past thirty, it's likely that this is her last stint with the National Team, and with Tihon signing a new keeper this offseason, perhaps there as well.

Erika Morningstar: Starts: 4
Olivia An: Starts: 3 Appearances: 3
Aoife Ruth: Starts: 5 Appearances: 3
Zheide McBee: Starts: 6 Appearances: 2
The Rundown: Erika Morningstar is still top notch, but was kept to the matches against Mriin and Kalumba. Lots of chances for Ruth and McBee to shine.
Biggest Surprise: Zheide McBee might have a future in the team after all. After a disappointing showing last time around, McBee is showing to be a more stable proposition.
Biggest Letdown: Olivia An. Decent defender of the Chromatik League, maybe not quite fit out for international play.

Luuk Aart: Starts: 3
Lucjusz Stef: Starts: 3 Appearances: 2
Yeri Ibex: Starts: 6 appearances: 3
Henri de Aea: Starts: 6 Appearances: 3
The Rundown: Lucjusz Stef and Luuk Aart are definitely the top two dogs and will remain so for now, but Ibex and de Aea show potential.
Biggest Surprise: Henri de Aea needs some work, but he is some specimen. A new Captain in the making, a few years down the road.
Biggest Letdown: Lack of headers from the backs. They're so tall! Why can't they head anything in? Does Parker just not utilize them, or do the players lack the skills?

Aysu Damjana: Starts: 3
Valence Ilya: Starts: 5
Cierra Anderson: Starts: 6 Appearances: 2
Miles Austic: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1
The Rundown: After Aysu Damjana, it's a bit hard to figure out who's next in the totem pole...
Biggest Surprise: Valence, Cierra, and Miles all show promise, but also all have some mistakes...
Biggest Letdown: Valence, Cierra, and Miles all show promise, but also all have some mistakes...
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Postby Sargossa » Tue May 15, 2018 7:58 am

SSM | Sargossan State Media
International Edition - Sport

One Last Push

Blanco Borrayo reports;

It had thrills, spills, excitement and drama. It was a twisty, turning journey through the unpredictability of sport. And it finished with the top four seeds sat in seeding order. Admittedly first place had been decided half the campaign ago, Brenecia only deigning to drop points after their lead had become unassailable. But for Sargossa, Juvencus and Tobiasia the playoff fight went right down to the final day. The round seventeen win for the Corsairs in Tobiasia all but assured Sargossa of a playoff place, thanks to a three point lead and a healthy advantage in goal difference, but we’re not a nation to take these things for granted. But when the fifth goal went in against New Lusitania and the Algarves in Jucaro football fans from Mercada to San Marquez could relax. Elsewhere Juvencus sealed the second playoff spot with a hard fought victory against Indusse, a result that was academic as Tobiasia crashed to defeat in Brenecia. Leaving the final Group 4 table looking a lot like this.

   Group 4                          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Brenecia 18 15 1 2 40 14 +26 46 Q
2 Sargossa 18 9 5 4 38 24 +14 32 P
3 Juvencus 18 9 4 5 38 31 +7 31 P

4 Tobiasia 18 7 5 6 35 33 +2 26
5 New Lusitania and the Algarves 18 6 5 7 31 32 −1 23
6 North New South Wales 18 6 4 8 30 30 0 22
7 Stetzra 18 5 6 7 18 24 −6 21
8 Lochario 18 5 4 9 24 37 −13 19
9 Indusse 18 3 8 7 29 39 −10 17
10 Olastor 18 2 4 12 16 35 −19 10

It marks quite the turnaround for a Sargossan side that, following the round six defeat to Brenecia, were eighth in the group on just five points. In came coach Rodrigo Defederico and a run of eight wins and three draws in the next twelve fixtures, including impressive victories in both Brenecia and Juvencus, saw the nation rise majestically through the group standings. The big losers proved to be Tobiasia, for whom the wheels came off their campaign late on. Olastor too had a cycle to forget, while both Stetzra and Lochario accumulated an impressive number of points for unranked debutants.

For thirty teams the campaign is not yet over, with the glorious misery of playoffs set to decide the final fifteen names on the World Cup’s exclusive guest list. And this is an arena in which we have some experience. Eight times previously Sargossa have contested playoffs, in their various guises, with some notably mixed and goal leaden results.

Overall Playoff Record
P8 W4 L4

World Cup 59
Sargossa 3 – 2 Valladares (Home)

World Cup 62
Sargossa 0 – 2 Kiryu-shi (Neutral Venue)

World Cup 63
Sargossa 2 – 3 Kinitaria (Away)
Sargossa 6 – 2 Kinitaria (Home)
(Sargossa win 8 - 5 on aggregate)

World Cup 68
Sargossa 2 – 2 Saugeais (Away)
Sargossa 4 – 1 Saugeais (Home)
(Sargossa win 6 - 3 on aggregate)

Sargossa 1 – 3 Neu Engollon (Home)
Sargossa 2 – 0 Neu Engollon (Away)
(3 - 3 on aggregate, Sargossa lose on away goals)

World Cup 69
Sargossa 1 – 1 Northern Sunrise Islands (Away)
Sargossa 1 – 2 Northern Sunrise Islands (aet) (Home)
(Sargossa lose 2 - 3 on aggregate)

World Cup 70
Sargossa 4 – 1 Starblaydia (Away)
Sargossa 1 – 2 Starblaydia (Home)
(Sargossa win 5 - 3 on aggregate)

World Cup 72
Sargossa 1 – 1 Barunia (Away)
Sargossa 1 – 0 Barunia (Home)
(Sargossa win 2 - 1 on aggregate)

World Cup 73
Sargossa 5 – 4 Semarland (Away)
Sargossa 1 – 3 Semarland (Home)
(Sargossa lose 6 - 7 on aggregate)

The playoff picture for World Cup 80 was a veritable minefield, with luminaries of the ilk of Audioslavia, Drawkland, Apox, Turori, Valladares and the Free Republics all in the mix. Thankfully we avoid all of them, instead being paired in a good, old fashioned Rushmore v Atlantian Oceania matchup against a good, old fashioned Atlantian side. It should prove an intriguing clash between two sides whose regional exploits (three Copa Rushmori triumphs versus two AOCAF titles) largely eclipse their performances on the world stage. 95X finished third in Group 14, behind Valanora and Dumukuni, winning eleven of their eighteen fixtures and losing six. More interesting is the nature of the 95X roster, where the gender of each player is stated clearly in black and white. Except for one, midfielder Alix Ajax whose gender is defined as ‘X’. Potentially this marks Ajax out as a Generation X-er and consequently is possibly in their mid-50s. Or a D-Generation X-er, with a penchant for crotch chopping and inviting those nearby to suck various things. Or, and this is our best guess based on the nation they represent, they’re a bus.
Last edited by Sargossa on Tue May 15, 2018 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV / Copa Rushmori XX

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Postby Juvencus » Tue May 15, 2018 9:47 am


Predictions about Juvencus for the play-offs

It is needless to say that for once, the gli attaccanti is in contention for a World Cup spot. The team's spot was decided on the last matchday after beating Indusse 2-1, with an incredible showcase of young forward Santo Silvestri who scored a brace. That very same matchday, Tobiasia was beaten 1-0 by group winners Brenecia thus "gifting" us a playoff spot. We joined the following draw as the 4th worst-performing team out of the 30 teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in the group stages. The gli attaccanti should be playing the 4th best-performing team in Super Llamaland which showed a lot of might throught the entirety of the group stages. In this article, we are explaining why the gli attaccanti has a high possibility of NOT qualifying for its first world cup, at least not this time around.

First of them all, the horrible performances against teams the likes of New Lusitania and Algarves and especially the North New South Wales. The gli attaccanti not only didn't manage to snatch 4 easy victories against these two but they didn't even get to win ONCE! Not even once, with the 2-5 loss to the New Lusitania and the Algarves being the most devastating defeat the squadra has experienced since last year's world cup qualifiers loss with 8-2 to Schottia. Being inconsistent against lower-ranked teams means the gli attaccanti will struggle in the world cup, or in this case, the play-offs for it against Super Llamaland.

And here we go to number two, the team's poor defensive structure all cycle long long. I cannot stress enough how uncoordinated and disoriented our defence has been the entire cycle, letting opponents go through them as if they were a massive arch. Even weaker and less offensive teams managed to score a couple against the squadra in most matchdays which means that stronger teams like Super Llamaland should not have much trouble finding net, which is vital.

Lastly, lack of adaptability. Let's be honest here, the team has lacked adaptability, we never managed to shape-shift our style to suit our needs this cycle, despite a nice string of wins in the mid-to-latter qualifiers stages. If we ever want to get to the damn competition, we need to be able to be playing more passively sometimes and other teams we should just hold on to the ball as much as possible, all out offence alone won't ever work.

And this has been why we MAY not qualify for the world cup this cycle. However, we have a lot of chances of getting back-to-back Cup of Harmony titles in Atlantian Oceania soil as Vilita is hosting the competition, so all is not lost.

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New Gazi
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Postby New Gazi » Tue May 15, 2018 10:11 am

Cannon Bank Stadium Prepares For Playoffs


The desert suburb of Khona, New Gazi is set to welcome the international crowd, including team staff and media outlets, in Game 1 of World Cup 80's playoffs. The town is an hour East of the capital of Trouete and the river which brings greenery to that region. A savannah is also to the west, jungle exists in several other directions in fertile patches of terrain.

Visitors to the country will find it a modern, first world nation on the coast of West Africa. The nation is allied with Vangaziland but is not officially a part of the Vannish Empire. Tourists will find plenty of first world amenities in New Gazi. A large international airport, would welcome most visitors into Khona. The gates are lined with various international shopping and dining options.

One can either take public transport or taxi to the various sections of the city. A tourist district has built up recently with the launch of the new stadium. Rising around a small oasis and a publically maintained greenspace, were several blocks of hotels and entertainment venues just a few short blocks from Cannon Bank Stadium. A large waterpark is located on the northern end of the town, along with a luxury hotel.

Some may find it cheaper to fly into the capital and take a train into Khona. If so, they'll find these trains are fast at speeds above 150 MPH. They are perfectly climate controlled and the concessions car is stocked with food and drink, including adult beverages. At this time of year, there would be many tourists and businessmen on the train. Many people come from Vangaziland and other Vannish territories throughout the year for the African sunshine.

Khona has also legalized gambling with several large casinos in town. It is one of the few cities in New Gazi where gambling is legalized. Alcohol and cannabis are also legal in accordance with national law.

Getting around town is easy with the busy and efficient public transportation system. It takes place in the form of a light rail system and a set of bus lines. This will make it easy to get to Cannon Bank stadium, especially from the tourism district.

Cannon Bank Stadium is considered a local gem. It brings a draw to the relatively small chunk of the country known as the Gazilian Desert.

The stadium capacity is 32,500. There are several food and dining options ranging from local cusisine to the Vannish fast food chain known as PitchSide. This comes along with beverages by Royal Imperial Brewery. The spiciness of the Vannish food is a hit with the local diners of which 45% of the Vannish people claim heritage to.

The local team claiming Cannon Bank Stadium as home is FC Khona. It is one of the most popular teams, partially because of it's proximity to the capitol and partly because of a rich history of domestic league success. Recently, FC Khona has been in a cold streak. They are in the process of developing young talent they hope will bring them back into top tier competition.

Security will be thorough but not overbearing. There would be no paramilitary guards visibile. The local police department had a station just around the corner though, complete with a SWAT department trained specifically for operations in the stadium. Emergency services and first responders are also present in the town and stadium.

Architcect Oringo Guran designed the stadium and included elements like tall palm trees and a manmade waterfall into the design structure. "The entire stadium should incorporate the feel of the desert", said Guran. "We went for the feel of an oasis, much like the one a short drive from the field."

New Gazi has an exciting opponent for their playoff series. The Cannoneers will face Eastfield Lodge. With Vangaziland eliminated from the tournament, the focus of the Vannish Empire will turn a microscope on the series against the team from Rushmore. This will be the team's biggest test. New Gazi has not qualified after over half a decade of competition. They have made a run in a few editions of the Cup of Harmony. Here they find themselves with a chnce to play into their first qualification.

"We have the kind of experience that might carry us far into the qualification stages", said Head Coach Oliver Hausta. "The team has looked strong, but we can definitely improve our focus. We'll look to knuckle down for this series and beyond."

Winger Uffe Diya also spoke on the team from Eastfield Lodge. "They come from a part of the world with a lot of prestige, in their nation and their region. It will be a high profile game set to entertain the masses. These are the kind of games we need to win to advance into the World Cup."

On the morning of the game, the city of Khona found itself a busy place. Street sweepers were pushing away trash and sand after a late night party near the stadium. Police stood by ready to help direct traffic and patrol various beats. A jack-knifed tractor trailer caused a 45 minute delay on the commute from Khona to Trouete. A locally-famous food truck sold breakfast to a crowded line on a busy street corner. All in all, it was a busy, idyllic day.

New Gazi was ready for the playoffs. The sun shined over a warm Khonan morning.
Last edited by New Gazi on Tue May 15, 2018 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Banija » Tue May 15, 2018 5:37 pm


National team prepare for playoff tie with Mercedini with everything left to play for

Training session in Montreal as national team prepares for playoff matchup with Mercedini

MONTREAL, ROYAL KINGDOM OF QUEBEC- We are approaching what is, at this point, quite likely the biggest match in Banijan football history. We do not have a storied history in this sport- nothing like our three straight semifinal runs in World Bowls 29-31, or our national lacrosse team somehow always coming so close, and yet, so far away from winning a trophy. There are no trophies in the national team cabinet. It might be something to do with the fact that this is the sport, with its large, global popularity, that it is hardest to win in, and it is undoubtedly the hardest sport in which to climb the ladder. But the Banijans are climbing, are passionate, are strong, and most importantly- the Banijans are there. Just two games seperate the Kadongo Kamu from their date with destiny- but it will require navigating a date with Mercedini. Both nations, with only a lone World CUp Finals appearance between them(WC77 for Mercedini), will represent a fresh face at the World Cup Finals, a massive moment for that nation's sporting culture, in the tournament that, in all of the multiverse, is easily the hardest to qualify for.

Of course, this match will be a legacy definer for many on the national team. While the campaign crashed and burned to begin with, culminating the first half of qualifying with a four game losing streak, including two losses in a row to unranked opponents, that ended up costing Randolf Cherry his job, the campaign was quickly brought not only out of the fire, but back to relevancy, and eventually, all the way up to a playoff spot by interim manager Marcus Waters, whose success makes it almost certain that he will soon shed the interim tag. The second half of the campaign has revived the fortunes and legacies of quite a few Banijan players- from Kiggwe Mavuto, who is on his last run with the national team and is Banija's all-time leading scorer, to veterans like Delbin Kasekende, who is performing despite watching all of the violence and chaos happen in his home region of the Busoga Islands. Players like Wasa Jawo, who was criticized for his big money move to Petroslovakia United, to Isaac Georgiadis- longtime national team stalwarts who couldn't quite get the team to reach its full potential, who couldn't get them over the hump in the all-important WCC competitions.

It is a mix of those veteran players, who have everything left to play for, and the fresh blood- some young, and some old, who has gotten the national team on the cusp of glory- qualifying for the World Cup Finals. Gitonga Kahara, who exploded onto the international scene by winning the golden boot for Project Olimpo, quite possibly the multiverse's most well-respected youth development academy, and played a starring role in the Di Bradini Cup, has settled into the national team nicely. The Polaris winger represents both the present and future for this squad, as he develops his own abilities as he moves on into the future. Not to mention Zinnah Atieno, Abate Brehanu, and Alifa Diawara- who all made their first-ever national team starts on Matchday 10 of qualifying, to help solve a leaking back line. They were strong, as a defense that allowed 20 goals in the first 9 games of qualifying, only allowed six in the last 9 games fo qualifying. THose players, and others we haven't mentioned, like Toyuwa Okafor and Daniel Asres, are the reasons that the national team is in this position, taking a step forward by participating in its first ever World Cup Qualification Playoffs.

Of course, this is a prelude to the next, great step- qualifying for the World Cup Finals. That is why we are here, that is why we participate. And who is in Banija's path? None other than Mercedini. The team must play their opening match at Samseongoloondongjang. Due to the ongoing drought and violent tensions with both the Commonwealth of Baker Park and the Equestrian States, the home leg of the playoff had to be moved. The RBSA chose the Samseongoloondongjang, which is probably the best place to play this match outside of Banija. Located in Montreal, Royal Kingdom of Quebec, the metropolitan area is home to 300,000 Banijans. That said, due to close ties thanks to the membership of Banija in the Quebecois Commonwealth, the national team is quite popular among locals in the Royal Kingdom of Quebec. So while it won't be the same as a match in Banija- the diaspora and locals will be less passionate, and more tickets than normal will be available to Mercedini fans, the RBSA made the best of a bad hand with that site location. It will surely be a large majority of Banijan fans in the stadium, rooting the team on to make their first World Cup.

Now, for the game on the pitch, right? Who is Mercedini? The national team, nicknamed the Golden Eagles, are ranked 39th in the world. They participated in the finals of World Cup 77- meaning that the Royal Kingdom of Quebec is not a stranger to this national team and their fans. They are ranked 39th in the world, and finished in second place in their group, earning 38 points across qualifying. They were in a group with Farfadillis, who finished an incredible 18 game qualification campaign with 17 wins and a single loss. They also experienced a revival of their fortunes in the second half of qualifying, similar to the Kadongo Kamu rising. They had a 7-1-1 record in the second half of qualifying, earned 12 wins over the course of the campaign. That record, of course, makes them favorites to progress in this playoff tie- alongside the fact that, of course, they hold home field advantage. In World Cup 79 Qualification, a late, heartbreaking 2-2 draw with Abanhfleft, whom Banijan lacrosse fans know extremely well, kept Mercedini out of the World Cup Finals- something that will give them extra motivation heading into this matchup.

Now, who should Banijan fans watch for? This is an extremely young squad, one that has some great long-term viability. There is not a single starter on the Mercedini national team who is above the age of 29, and a majority of the team's starting XI are under the age of 25. Substitute experience for youthful energy, and that is what you get with the Mercedini squad. It is a different story for the Banijan team- who have a starting lineup with four players who are above 30 years old. The most dynamic part about their national team is their ability to score goals. They put 44 shots into the back of the net during the World Cup Qualification campaign, which is the mark of an excellent offensive attack. 22 year old Daniel Dostalok and 21 year old Ben Chillotov have been a fearsome, dynamic duo up front. Wasa Jawo, the team's lead center back, said that the two were 'incredible'. "Dostalok and Chillotov combine well, and know how to finish- there's a reason the Golden Eagles averaged nearly 2.5 goals per match during World Cup qualifying. We will have to step up our focus in the back to contain them, and we will have our hands full. If we don't contain them, we will be in for a long 180 minutes."

In the classic 4-4-2 style that the Golden Eagles play in, you have to look at their midfield. A place that was a sore weakpoint for the Banijans in the first half of qualifying, though something that was fixed in the second half of qualifying, you have four young, energetic midfielders who will look to simply outclass the Banijan midfield. A central midfield pairing of Adam Kraljic and Johannes Nymark has proved dynamic, as the pair of 24 year old central midfielders are energetic, and are capable of putting on a dynamic showing when they are on top of their game. Daniel Asres, and Isaac Georgiadis especially, will have their work cut out for them. Isaac Georgiadis, who tends to play deep in his central midfield spot, will have to give a hand as the Golden Eagles are sure to create their fair share of chances. It will be easier to do this at home, when the crowd is spurring him on, but expect some problems in the return leg to Mercedini, as he tires and the younger Mercedinians attempt to wear Georgiadis, and especially Asres, down. Asres, who is 31, figures to only feature for the 1st half in each matchup, as the up-tempo style from Mercedini will almost force Marcus Waters to use some combination of John Tewedros and Elijah Riga in the second half of both legs of the tie.

Where does Banija's chance to pull off the upset come from? The squad up top. They have been consistent in terms of goal-scoring, with the four-headed monster of Kiggwe Mavuto, Gitonga Kahara, Toyuwa Okafor, and Chibuzo Afolayan being the team's consistent shining lights during the entirety of the World Cup Qualification campaign. The Mercedini defense allowed 32 goals during the World Cup Qualification campaign- the result of a midfield that likes to push forward, and not something that is a huge problem when the team scores 44 goals over the same period of time, but something that the Banijans could expose if they figure out a way to stretch the Mercedini defense. They are pacey on the wings, and a player like Gitonga Kahara could cause some serious problems for the Mercedini defense. Marcus Waters is expected to focus his attack in the wings, where sources close to the team say that he feels that his best chance to put the ball in the back of the net is playing via the wingers, Afolayan and Kahara, to try and expose the punish the Mercedini wide midfielders for pushing too far forward. Expect rapid attacking from the Banijan side, as turning defense quickly into offense will seem to be the best opportunity to create chances against a team that likes to push forward.

The Banijans face a tall task ahead of them- attempting to defeat a Mercedini side over two legs who are deservedly favorites over them. But the Kadongo Kamu have reached this point- and are poised to take a large climb from 83rd up the rankings, regardless of how this finishes. Can the national team pull the clock forward on their own progress, however, and clinch their own spot in the World Cup Finals? Doing it for a Banijan legend like Kiggwe Mavuto, who is putting in his last shot to ever qualify for the World Cup? For the first leg, we'll have to predict a 2-2 draw. The Banijan defense has shored up, and has shown the ability to preform in big matches, including a 1-0 victory in this very city against Turori that was a very important step in making sure that the Banijans were here at all. However, those Mercedini midfielders, especially in the middle, look set to punish the Banijans. Players like Kiggwe Mavuto will have to get back consistently, and that will allow Mercedini to get a couple of away goals and draw the match, 2-2. The Banijans will get their fair share of chances- and put a couple away- but we believe that Mercedini will gain the advantage going back to Zoloroni for the business end of this tie.
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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Tue May 15, 2018 6:52 pm

© Sporting Times Daily 2018
Playoff brings Commonwealth full circle
by Mindy Cartwright
National Soccer Writer

When the Commonwealth National Team takes the pitch at Keller Field in Belle Haven tonight, they will be crossing a threshold that was probably hard to imagine them being anywhere near on the day they began training for the Baptism of Fire tournament. The pre-World Cup event was a chance for nations making their way into cutthroat world of Multiverse International Soccer to test the waters and get a measure of where they would slot in to the hierarchy. There are no shortcuts to the top in these rarefied heights, and there is no quarter given (and obviously none asked).

But the opponent standing in the path towards advancement brings the voyage full circle; Qasden was the co-host of the BoF tournament with Banija, although the BP team did not play any matches there. They are 2 times winners of the Cup of Harmony and are seeking to qualify for the second straight WC finals; ranked 27th in the world they came home in a strong second place, unbeaten in all 9 matches of the second round of qualifying with 7 wins and 2 draws and outscoring them 27-9.

Manager Trevor Richmond expects an inspired performance from his squad in the home leg of the tie, but knows the odds are extremely long. Baker Park remain the only debutante side left, and are far and away the lowest ranked nation of the group looking to join the 15 group winners.

Richmond: "I've gotten some nice messages from managers of a couple of group opponents, and the advice they gave was play true to your own style. Don't try and change. In fact one of them said go back to the way we were playing in the first half of qualifying. This will certainly be the last home match for the international season, and we won't let our supporters leave feeling cheated."

match notes:
--Metro PD will enforce an early closing time for beer and alcohol sales inside the stadium, at the hour mark of the match.
--under WCC rules, strict segregation is being enforced for visiting supporters, and the East Terrace will be reserved for their use.
--the six goal explosion in the finale at North Dajao was the highest goal total of the tournament for BP.
--all 15 of the top seeded sides survived being eliminated. Baker Park's opponent South Covello was only one of 3 that didn't win their group, as a final day draw with Kita-Hinode allowed Darmen to sneak into the top spot. (Chromatika and Turori were the other two not to finish first.)
--speaking of Darmen, they were the only third seed to win a group, while another Group 6 opponent, the previously mentioned Hinodejins, were one of only 2 second seeded squads to not make it through (Flardania being the other.) Darmen also was one of 13 third seeds to survive, with only 2 failing to advance.
--no fourth seeded sides made it through the 18 match competiton, and Banija and Lisander were the only two fifth seeds to sneak into the playoff spots.
--mentioned earlier, Baker Park remain the lowest ranked team (150) and were one of two 6th seed teams to reach the playoff--Maryloupe, who spent a large part of the tournament battling for second place behind World Champion Schottia in Group 12 was the other.

An aerial view of Keller Field ahead of the playoff vs Qasden. The East Terrace is at the top of the picture.
Soccer--Under-18 World Cup (Sporting World Cup 5) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
World Cup 81 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football--NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 Mineral Conference Champions

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Founded: Mar 27, 2015

Postby Soltsteed » Tue May 15, 2018 7:56 pm

Prince of Saxland Centre, Eswelle
15 May


The mood in the ground was quite sombre as the trainer spoke. The tension in the air at the training centre was palpable.

Two matches will decide our fate. It will be a major achievement if we win, but make no mistake: Buyan will be fighting for this just as hard.

The training session was more strenuous than usual.

You can get a break once this is over, Carle.

Taking over from Emma had been quite difficult. A play-off defeat could very mark a disastrous inflection point for his career, in the same way that Ferdinand and Gryndhout were practically chased out of the national team by the press after losing the Cup of Harmony final.

The paces were tougher, but everyone made it through in one piece. Carle had to keep reminding himself to keep standing. Don’t keel over... It’ll only feel worse later...

Just as everyone had finished, Jan-Peter arrived with some major news.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Prime Minister and her husband will be in attendance at the match today.

Everyone simultaneously rolled their eyes at the announcement. The Prime Minister had been present to see the Stallions get their arses metaphorically handed to them by Juvencus, so why would this be any better.

And also attending alongside her will be His Majesty the King.

Great, as if the pressure wasn’t enough, Carle thought to himself.

The King’s personal assistant told me that His Majesty was quite disappointed that he couldn’t be present at the Cup of Harmony final, ― Jan-Peter continued ― given how he is the patron of the Federation, after all. The PA told us that His Majesty wanted to be a witness to the country’s first successful qualification campaign and specifically made time in his schedule to travel with us to Buyan for the second leg.

Shivers rolled down Carle’s spine. It was silly how one person could make him feel so nervous, but it was an open secret across the nation that the entire concept of monarchy was somewhat mad. And yet the throne still radiated its magical aura; the bearer of its crown wielded a deep symbolic power. The colours that the team wore were the colours of the Royal Family. The horse than graced their crest was the symbol of the Reigning King and Soltsteedish kings past. A symbol more powerful than the flag and truly rivalled only by the national anthem.

The irony of the King—whose Crown had been at the centre of the most devastating conflict in the nation’s history—was not lost on Carle. The national anthem was a hymn of rebirth written by a socialist who dreamed of a democratic and republican Soltsteed, co-opted as a symbol of reconciliation at the end of the Civil War, a war that politically neutered the monarchy and turned the country into a “republic in all but name”.

But, of course, musings over the fraught and complicated political, social and cultural history of the Commonwealth was the furthest thing from the striker’s mind.

In the midst of suffocating silence, Ann-Marine rose to speak, a nervous look glazing over her eyes and a grimace smudging her face.

We can all agree that this is an important moment. Too many teams that emerge victorious in their début tournament never amount to much more than that. We need to resolve that we won’t be the next Kaledor or Chernordad, but rather the next Audioslavia or the next Nephara. Risen from ruins, we can and we will emerge triumphant. Remember that old woes we must overcome. And remember that we overcome them united. Let’s show the world what unity can do. Let’s show them the Soltsteedish spirit. Let’s make ourselves, our families and our nation proud.

The nerves had vanished. Ann-Marine had practically transformed in the midst of her speech, feeling the soul of a fiery steed coursing through the very fibre of her being. Carle felt like he was on the shores of Galen, feeling the smooth, relaxing sand underneath him and a wave crashing over him from the ocean.

Buyan could bring their worst. Soltsteed was ready.

Let’s show them what the courage of a stallion looks like. ― Carle barely had any clue what he was going on about, but dammit, he was going to say it! ― The spirit of the White Steed is in every single one of us. Tonight, the sun shall shine over our Soltsteed.

The Stallions would gallop on.

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Postby Qusmo » Tue May 15, 2018 8:51 pm


Qusmo National Team roster announced for second half of Qualifiers

Qusmo national team manager Avarn-Oxolt Ban continued to tinker with their lineup in the second half of World Cup qualification. After the end of centreback Lucex-Ilinx Opu’s suspension from the national team, Avarn-Oxolt Ban has called them back up, in a move that was expected. However, that was not Avarn-Oxolt’s only change. The manager decided that it was more important to bolster their squad’s depth in the centre of the pitch, & sent home several wing players to make room for it.

At defense, Jralv-Yamaj Mal of KF Atlant & Zorno-Relaf Bel of KF Rejin, who were Avarn-Oxolt’s second choices at left & right back, respectively, saw the end of their qualifying campaigns. Jralv-Yamaj was capped in Matchdays 2 & 4, while Zorno-Relaf claimed a start on Matchday 4; neither has played in the national team’s past five matches, however.

The attack was not immune from the changes, either, as second choice left wing forward Rilan-Belaj Tar of KF Qastyr departed the team. Rilan-Belaj saw caps in away matches against two World Cup 79 qualifiers, Tumbra & Ceni, in Matchdays 4 & 8, respectively; however, they were always the second choice to Ozolx-Mazur Guv, & they proved surplus to requirements in a squad that did not normally utilize any wing forwards.

The midfield also lost a member, as KF Vlonz left midfielder Helek-Nenzi Ono has packed their bags for the final time this campaign. Helek-Nenzi was an understandable cutting given that they only appeared as a Matchday 5 substitute, but they also were Kynda-Sevet Pec’s only substitute at the position.

A player notable for managing to stay on the squad was KF Trew right midfielder Ilinx-Iblix Tla, who only garnered one cap & only as a substitute, but impressed sufficiently in Matchday 9 to earn a second appearance, it seems. Avarn-Oxolt may also be considering the fact that, without a reserve left midfielder on the roster, Ilinx-Iblix may have to fill in on both sides of the pitch - though Avarn-Oxolt has taken great pains to ensure that none of their players have to play on the side opposite that which they play for their club.

Though they lost a bit of strength at the edge, Avarn-Oxolt added depth in the centre of the pitch. They started at centreback, where they brought back Lucex-Ilinx & retained Ozolx-Alfan Ixi, the player called up as a replacement during the original first choice player’s suspension. Of the seven defenders on Qusmo’s roster, five are centrebacks - but given that Avarn-Oxolt has usually kept to a back three with no fullbacks, this is somewhat understandable.

They also added a new striker to the mix, as the sole backup in centre forward to the Xilit-Zaxac Yol & Rilan-Jerat Nev combination Avarn-Oxolt seems to favour is more comfortable as a poacher than an out-&-out striker. With that in mind, KF Qastyr striker Prant-Pertz Gor - seen by many as a snub when the initial national team roster was released - was invited to the squad midway through.

The manager chose to stand pat with their selection of three goalkeepers, despite the fact that the two reserves have combined for a single cap total. However, they called up two new pieces in the midfield, in part to relieve the stress the three-player midfield has been accumulating from playing a massive proportion of the team’s minutes. The centre midfield trio of Ilinx-Kepex Zev, Yunal-Julad Waz, & Ilinx-Vulav Ixi each have nine starts, in part because there are only four centre midfielders on the roster. That number is about to increase to six.

KF Trew attacking midfielder Gavax-Nenzi Abe was selected to join the squad, as was KF Rejin defensive midfielder Dwada-Dalox Wek. Dwada-Dalox was a bit of a surprise choice, but they were the only other player listed as a defensive midfielder to arrive at the national team training camp besides first-choice starter Yunal-Julad. Ultimately, these two additions allow Avarn-Oxolt to rest all three first-choice centre midfielders at the same time, with a balance of attacking & defending depth in the centre of the pitch, depending on the results of the match at hand.

That rounds out the changes made to Qusmo’s twenty-five-player roster, with all Matchday 1 starters & many key substitutes left on the squad. Qusmo went out to a roaring start for qualification, winning their first-ever international match 1-0 against Wolves Clans & then demolishing reigning Baptism of Fire champions Beepee 4-0 in their first-ever away fixture. However, after that trip, Qusmo went winless & won only a single point in their next six matches, having not kept a clean sheet since the match in Beepee.

“Ultimately, we’ve got to think about what this team’s capable of & how we can maximize our potential,” Avarn-Oxolt told reporters. “It’s a long, grueling slog. We have a centreback, a centre forward, & three centre midfielders who have started all nine of our matches. Now, they’re good players, but we need to make sure they’re well-rested, so that they can continue to play at the high level I know they’re capable of. These new additions to our team will help us achieve that goal.”

How true that statement is remains yet to be seen, but millions of Qusma fans - not to mention the players themselves - certainly hope Avarn-Oxolt is on the mark. Qusmo currently sits in sixth in Group 11 with ten points after the first nine matches of qualification, with nine more to go. It will take all that each of the twenty-five players have to keep in midtable & prove their worth to the world.

   Qusmo National Team Roster - Qualification Second Half
1 Xynat-Evela Cuf (26) GK, Trosoc
2 Lucex-Ilinx Opu (30) CB, Atlant
3 Yelto-Alfan Ono (24) CB, Koflir
4 Cunix-Betva Tla (27) CB, Niom
5 Yunal-Julad Waz (25) DM, Poldanz
6 Ilinx-Kepex Zev (31) CM, Qastyr
7 Ilinx-Vulav Ixi (25) AM, Poldanz
8 Kynda-Sevet Pec (19) LM, Koflir
9 Forzu-Ralox Kal (25) RM, Qastyr
10 Rilan-Jerat Nev (18) ST, Trew
11 Xilit-Zaxac Yol (23) ST, Poldanz
12 Vanza-Jerat Gep (26) GK, Qastyr
13 Zenon-Gerol Kal (23) CB, Koflir
15 Karar-Nirlo Hus (24) LB, Poldanz
16 Nirlo-Betva Uzo (24) RB, Atlant
18 Yamaj-Blonz Jok (20) CM, Werzin
20 Ilinx-Ibilx Tla (28) RM, Trew
22 Ozolx-Mazur Guv (27) LW, Rejin
23 Jralv-Nexev Pec (25) RW, Poldanz
24 Paliv-Xilit Max (23) SS, Estraj
25 Prant-Telew Wek (26) GK, Poldanz
26 Ozolx-Alfan Ixi (25) CB, Werzin
27 Dwada-Dalox Wek (20) DM, Rejin
28 Gavax-Nenzi Abe (23) AM, Trew
29 Prant-Pertz Gor (25) ST, Qastyr

Qusmo National Team Results
MD1 - Qusmo 1–0 Wolves Clans
MD2 - Beepee 0–4 Qusmo
MD3 - Qusmo 0–2 Gopnikea
MD4 - Tumbra 2–0 Qusmo
MD5 - Qusmo 0–1 Kandorith
MD6 - Yesopalitha 2–1 Qusmo
MD7 - Qusmo 3–3 Buyan
MD8 - Ceni 5–2 Qusmo
MD9 - Qusmo 3–1 Omerica

Qualifying Cycle Player Statistics

Player (Pos) Caps Starts Goals
Xilit-Zaxac Yol (ST) 9 9 6
Ilinx-Kepex Zev (CM) 9 9 1
Ilinx-Vulav Ixi (AM) 9 9 1
Cunix-Betva Tla (CB) 9 9 0
Yunal-Julad Waz (DM) 9 9 0
Xynat-Evela Cuf (GK) 8 8 0
Yelto-Alfan Ono (CB) 8 8 0
Rilan-Jerat Nev (ST) 8 6 4
Forzu-Ralox Kal (RM) 6 6 0
Kynda-Sevet Pec (LM) 6 6 0
Zenon-Gerol Kal (CB) 6 5 0
Karar-Nirlo Hus (LB) 6 3 0
Nirlo-Betva Uzo (RB) 6 2 0
Paliv-Xilit Max (SS) 4 2 1
Ozolx-Mazur Guv (LW) 4 1 1
Lucex-Ilinx Opu (CB) 3 3 0
Ozolx-Alfan Ixi (CB) 3 1 0
Jralv-Nexev Pec (RW) 2 1 0
Jralv-Yamaj Mal (LB) 2 0 0
Rilan-Belaj Tar (LW) 2 0 0
Yamaj-Blonz Jok (CM) 2 0 0
Vanza-Jerat Gep (GK) 1 1 0
Zorno-Relaf Bel (RM) 1 1 0
Helek-Nenzi Ono (LM) 1 0 0
Ilinx-Iblix Tla (RM) 1 0 0
Prant-Telew Wek (GK) 0 0 0

Group 11 standings after first half of qualifying

   Group 11                         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Ceni 9 6 1 2 27 13 +14 19
2 Buyan 9 6 1 2 17 8 +9 19
3 Yesopalitha 9 6 1 2 24 18 +6 19
4 Tumbra 9 6 1 2 14 12 +2 19
5 Gopnikea 9 5 1 3 13 12 +1 16
6 Qusmo 9 3 1 5 14 16 −2 10
7 Kandorith 9 3 1 5 15 20 −5 10
8 Beepee 9 2 2 5 6 11 −5 8
9 Omerica 9 1 2 6 14 21 −7 5
10 Wolves Clans 9 1 1 7 9 22 −13 4
Hello, there! My name's Qusmo. Here's my sportswire/RP portfolio. If you see something of mine that's particularly good or particularly poor, feel free to let me know what I should make sure to keep doing or to not do again. Thanks!

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Postby Qasden » Tue May 15, 2018 9:04 pm


Qasden Cuts Chateau de Soleil, To Play Newcomers in Playoffs

by Drazpachio D

In a report by QADANS journalist, Kip Franchez, the Vans were able to rise up to 2nd place in Group 9, a conglomerate packed to the brim with brute forces, including Devonta and Pasarga among them. As they arrived at Match 16 in Torgos, the game would help determine where the Vans and Wanderers would place in the group. A win for Qasden would endanger Pasarga's auto-qualification. A draw or loss would result in the latter to auto-qualify, yet the draw would also give the Qads a confirmed spot in the playoffs. So the game was simple, yet complex, a win or draw to lead it all (not really, but whatever).

The match was rather dull, but somehow Qad fans, human and kitsune, kept their spirits over the top. While suffering a Wanderer goal early, forward, Jerry Bostun, managed to clip one into the back of the net just before the game could near its end, sealing a key point that the Blue-Reds needed for success. As the final whistle blew, Qasdonians were nearly overwhelmed with the result, even if it was just a 1-1 draw. But, I suppose compared to the 2-4 loss at RTS, a tie is fine. So that settles it, the Vans would get to compete in a qualification playoff, the first ever occasion for the organization. While the streets were already celebrating, the qualifiers still had one more task for TQ, being the unranked newcomers, Chateau de Soleil, whose record and elimination from qualifying contention really only gave the match the purpose of staying above Soltsteed to secure the top playoff spot.

Greeting the, errr, let's call them knights. So, greeting the knights of CdS to Hotchskarth Cabin, we gave them the greatest welcoming gift anyone could have while arriving here: bitter defeat at the hands of blue and red-clad people. Within the first half alone, TQ's Ryan Xandreas (15') and Valentijn Munson (34') were able to shoot Qasden in front, where they stayed for the duration of the game. By the time Chateau got a ball past Macron Abbott, the game was already nearing it's end, finished with a goal by Onyx Foster (89') to salt the wound. And with that victory, the Vans were confirmed the higher-seed playoff competitor and hosts of the 2nd leg.

So now that we've gotten the ending of the qualifiers over with, let's meet our opponent for these next 2 matches, the Commonwealth of Baker Park.


The Bees are much newer to the World Cup scene, having debuted just a month or two ago in the Baptism of Fire we hosted with Banija. Finishing 2nd in that, Baker Park came into the qualifiers as a definite underdog in a group with a plethora of footballing titans. Despite this matter, they were able to adapt and conquer many of these teams, finishing with 32 points and 3rd place in their group, knocking out stronghold, Kita-Hinode, in the process. In the seeding of qualification hopefuls, BP was placed 22nd, just below fellow Pot 6 team, Maryloupe.

As the lower seed, Baker Park will host the first leg of the playoff, taken the form of Keller Field in the capital of Belle Haven. QAFA Manager, Jon Merritt, seemed excited for this playoff, just as he is for every match.

"I remember a few weeks ago, while watching some of the games in our Baptism of Fire with Sedsten, seeing the spectacular performance that team, Baker Park, pulled off. When I heard we were playing Richmond and his squad for our playoff, I was thrilled to finally meet his skills as a manager, 1 on 1. Whatever happens in Belle Haven will happen, but he should definitely expect the full force that is Qasden Association Football when we play down at Royal T.V. Stadium.".

Can the Qads take the early lead of Baker Park? Or will the new Bees on the block be too powerful for the Vans to handle? Stay tuned, stay updated, and stay alert for our postgame report, freshly purchased from the streets of Belle Haven, Baker Park!
Last edited by Qasden on Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Drawkland » Tue May 15, 2018 9:05 pm

I know my input doesn't really matter here, but let me set things straight. There's two things I love in this world. My nation, and spor- hmm. Make that three things. My wife, my nation, and sports. Just like the field of battle, to me, sports are always interesting, no matter how many millennia pass. Just like Ellzidan played in the DLK every year since its inception, I've watched this and all the other leagues in and around Drawkland, season after season. Watching great generations come and go is such a treat. No two players are the same. Thus, no game is ever the same.

I've been everywhere in the multiverse, both hidden as a commoner in plain sight or coming as a supreme force of good will. I know the prowess that some nations have in many respects, and this is by no means limited to war or economic power. I've seen some of the greatest players of sport ever originate millions of miles away from Drawkland (heresy, I know) and I know how tough they are to beat. When I pushed DISC to join the World Cup, I knew we would never be able to live up to our great nation's reputation so soon.

For that, I had guessed wrong. I had underestimated the ladies on the pitch and the manager behind them. I had underestimated their grit, and I had underestimated the sheer luck we were provided with. Words cannot describe how much elation I had at the Kick Corps qualifying on their first go, Baptism disappointments aside. Qualifying the second time with equal amounts of finesse and fortune was equally incredible. Then of course we hoisted ourselves up to the grand stage once again by bringing nations far and wide to our wonderful land. We were creating history, and there's still so much ground ahead of us.

Then the Independents Cup happened. Regrettable, sure, but there's so much more time to go. Schottia won't be invincible forever, and who knows how long Bonesea will be out of the international spotlight? We'll have plenty more chances at it, to finally bring a prize to Sonnel. Maybe not for this generation of talent, which is regrettable, but it takes years and years of talent and chemistry flowing through a team to do something amazing. I've seen it happen many times, just right here in our own leagues.

Then Ellzidan went and left. I hadn't talked to her about the IAC, I knew she'd feel sore about it still. I was there in Handon for the final match and I could feel the waves of agitation from her as the match progressed. I heard she had fled to nowhere soon after the group draw, and I knew why. The Free Republics. I've seen Ellzidan mow down thousands of foes and have dozens of her closest friends and aides be struck down at her side. Nothing had given her this much grief in centuries. Perhaps it is silly, getting so worked up over a game when you've faced the horrors of war over the years. But not even I can take a stab at the enigma that is Ellzidan's mind. Figuratively, it's much too complex and layered to understand. Literally, she'd probably disarm me before I have a chance.

We, of course, managed to get through the cycle, a little beaten up perhaps. The day we have a comfortable qualifying run is the day that we'll actually accomplish something in the real cup, mark my words. But now we're confronted with playoffs. Then the real cup afterwards. Bless their hearts, I know that band of ladies may yet have it in them to make it through, but this final stretch of matches proves that maybe we're not cut out to perform as we need to. I had to make a difference. I had to give them help where they needed it.

That's why I went after her.

"Stressed Kick Corps fans may rejoice at this news! Earlier this morning, Ellzidan was sighted entering the Kick Corps practice facilities in Drawk City an hour before departing to Valladares via portal link thru Avon. The Drawkian historical and sporting legend has been mysteriously absent throughout the qualifying campaign, and just as mysteriously reappeared today. As the team departed fairly quickly after her arrival, no team staff was available to contact. Interviewers will no doubt have many questions in the pregame interviews.

As far as the match itself, Drawkland's Kick Corps will be facing Valladares'
La Nacional in the first leg of two playoff matches. The winner of these playoffs will be determined by aggregate score, so this away tilt for the Corps is arguably the more important of the two legs, as an advantage in both away goal calculation and team morale is essential. A win tonight will surely have Drawkland sitting pretty to fully qualify, provided they hold a standard match at home. The second leg will be played at Corps Central Pitch, the 150k stadium often employed by the Drawk Corps' professional and collegiate soccer teams. Usually used for friendlies, using Corps Central for a World Cup sanctioned match will be a first.

Win or lose, the second leg will be held in a week's time. Most pundits are pointing at this match being the single most crucial match of the qualifying campaign, so diehard fans have already booked most seats in the stadium. If you're wanting to see the Corps likely secure qualification at home, the elven pitch warrior back in action, or just enjoy the incredible atmosphere that's bound to be present, you'll want to be there. Drawkland vs Valladares ... who will go on?

In similar news, our Sonnelian friends in Juvencus find themselves in a similar plight, however they are in the disadvantaged position, playing the 4th-best 2nd place team in Super-Llamaland. While their chances of qualifying victory aren't so high, their status as defending Cup of Harmony champions will certainly be enough to give them morale if they don't qualify. Drawkland itself has been offered a preemptive invitation in the case they don't qualify. We all hope this invitation ends up disused, but at least Drawkland would be the favorites to win in any case.

With the new advances in helmet technology recently made by sport and health science experts, many sport amateurs and trampoline park enthusiasts are looking into creating a nationwide IDARB league, looking to crowdsource startup costs ..."
Last edited by Drawkland on Tue May 15, 2018 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
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Equestrian States
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Postby Equestrian States » Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 pm

Playoffs First Leg Cutoff

Thirty teams remain, time to start trimming it down to fifteen. Here's some music while you wait for the scores.

Last edited by Equestrian States on Tue May 15, 2018 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Chromatika » Tue May 15, 2018 10:12 pm

The Chromatik Roster: Grades Through Qualifying

And with eighteen games played, let us look at each of the players and how they've fared up to this point:

Molly Thorben: Starts: 3
Meagan Kelly: Appearances: 5
Trenn Rien: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1
Laure Etienne: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1 Goals: 1 Captains: 3
Whitney Kelly: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1
Sasha Kristine: Starts: 3 Appearances: 2 Goals: 1
The Rundown: Trenn Rien, Laure Etienne, and Whitney Kelly. Meagan has now shown that she probably isn't the best sub behind Molly. Whom should be Molly's substitute?
Biggest Surprise: Laure Etienne continues to be a Nika Justus of the midfielders, an old reliable that continues to shine. With leadership skills to boot, she's good.
Biggest Letdown: Meagan Kelly has been an impact sub from time to time, but her stamina is beginning to wane.

Alyss Montague: Starts: 3 Appearances: 2 Goals: 1 Captains: 1
Sandra Sybill: Starts: 3
Rachel Hellion: Starts: 3 Appearances: 1 Captains: 2
Hermaeus Mora: Starts: 8 Appearances: 2 Goals: 2
Mimi Kuzami: Starts: 9 Goals: 1
Enigma Armageddon: Starts: 15 Goals: 4 Captains: 3
Drew Limones: Starts: 7
Indira Haxon: Starts: 6 Appearances: 2
The Rundown: The Big Three are what keep the Chromatik machine going, but behind them, Mora-Kuzami-Armageddon are coming into their own. Drew Limones and Indira Haxon need a bit more time.
Biggest Surprise: Damn, Enigma Armageddon. Parker ran him through the ringer - fifteen starts is quite a lot - and he even got to captain three times. Who knows when the Big Three will finally retire, but Enigma will be waiting.
Biggest Letdown: Hermaeus Mora wasn't as shining as people had thought he'd be, even overshadowed by one Armageddon. Their careers are still young, but still work to be done.

Next: Left Midfielder, Striker.
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Regional Tournaments: 52 (2nd), 53 (4th), 54 (QF), 55 (Champions)
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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed May 16, 2018 12:48 am

David Blake; "And we're back here on the post game show on CBC Soccer Night, outside of Keller Field after an electric night in the EqueStar 80 World Cup playoff First Leg. Aiden, any sort of parallel you can relate to your own international career as to what tonight was like?"

Aiden Donnan: "yeah, I did have to give a bit of thought. New Zealand, here actually, I had a a goal and we won 3-1, the first time we'd played them at home for like 15 years. They were actually pretty good at that time. But not this kind of turnout or atmosphere."

DB: "and the Metro PD held the visiting supporters back for fifteen minutes but now have released them and George Farmer is waiting to get a few reactions, George?"

GF: "David, we are here with two Qasden supporters, guys, your reaction to the result?"

Qasden Supporter #1: "oy, fair play. we'll come back to win at home. Love your lovely booze here..."

GF: "and you, your reaction to the match?"

Qasden Supporter #2: "oh yeah, brilliant. full marks to your side. We'll come through, but we've had a stonker here. Pretty women and good hooch, we'll be back."

GF: (laughing): "that's all from here for now, David. Back to you"

DB: "thanks George. And we'll bring in Craig Snyder now. Craig, a triumph of tactical superiority or stalemate of two sides who have a similar outlook?"

CS: "Honestly? I think closer to the latter. On merit, I saw two sides that were pretty well matched physically and technically. And we saw another master class in possession over long periods of time from BP. A completely superior piece of individual effort from Valerie Agahambri was the difference, but I think she'll need to come through again in order to give Baker Park a chance to go through."

DB: "thanks Craig, and that's all the time we have. Live from Keller Field, it was Commonwealth of Baker Park 1, Qasden nil. Thanks for joining us on CBC Soccer Night Special. For Aiden Donnan, I'm David Blake. Good Night."
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Juvencus » Wed May 16, 2018 7:29 am

It was a warm May night in Pomena, nothing really uncommon, the season had just finished and so had the qualifiers for the world cup which saw Juvencus finish 3rd, just in the right spot for the playoffs. This night... well this night was special, as Juvencus and Super Llamaland had just given a hell of a battle with each other, the game was about to end, it was the 92nd minute of the game, if you included the extra time given and the abnormally nicknamed Tigers, were in front in a 3-4 lead. All game long, the Llamaleans knew that the gli attaccanti would go all in aggressively on them and try gaining by free kicks and such but they were safe enough not to do anything up until now, a miscalculation from Emily Ynoa led to her aggressively tackling the fast, but in this case, tired Alberighi just outside the box. Alberighi was not even remotely mad this time, all he wanted was to equalise for his country, he ran up to Martell, pronto, patted his back and after a small exchange of words, Martell stayed put, however Alberighi was in an unusual position close to the ball.

Inside the box, Tafani's was expecting another header to score from a Martell cross, just like when she had equalised to 2-2 in the earlier stages of this half but she had also noticed Alberighi being in the wrong spot, a range of emotions got to her but she was also hit by a cataclysm of thoughts 'What the hell is Fast Eddy doing again? Can't he just get back to his normal spot so we don't fucking lose this? THIS IS IMPORTANT. Focus Brunella, don't shout at the poor man, we can win this. We can win this... We can win this... We can win this... I think. Yeah we ca-' her thoughts were cut from the refferee's whistle and Martell went full-force on the ball but he did not kick it, however Alberighi hit the ball with such delicacy that it curved perfectly on the top right corner of the Llamalean goal. The stadium went emphatic as Alberighi had just scored the equaliser for the gli attaccanti. Tafani ran towards Martell, patting his back.

"I guess this idiot has done it again, am I right captain?"

Martell glared at her with a smile on his face "He's no idiot, Brunella, this guy's a genius! We should trust him with stuff like this more often."

"Haha, whatever."

Soon after, the final whistle had just blown and the fans were going home feeling slightly safer as a draw was not a bad result to have against a strong team like this. Other were not feeling any safer as the advantadge was still on the Llamalean side on away goals, however one thing is for certain, it is that Juvencus is going on the second leg in Super Llamaland with its heads up, rather than heads down and that the team's first qualification to the world cup is possible for once.

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Barunia » Wed May 16, 2018 9:02 am

Barunia On Cusp of World Cup

Coach Adam Johnson is urging Barunians to turn out in full force to Sun Statdium tommorrow, as the Barunia Suns face off against Tumbra for a spot in the World Cup. The match is the second of a two-leg play-off, with the Barunians winning at Tumbra with a single goal from Matt Vine. The win gives Barunia a slender advantage going into the Barunian home game, and Johnson wants all supporters to lend their voices to the cause. Any loss greater than 1-0 would see Tumbra qualify, while a draw or win would see the Barunians enter the World Cup for the first time since the 76th edition.
Johnson said, "Home support is critical. We've made it this far, but we're not there yet. I'm urging all Barunians to come out and lend your support, and let's get this done together."
It would be Johnson's first World Cup with the Suns, and the embattled coach has had his critics. A qualification here would go a long way to silencing his doubters, and also those who have decried the team itself. Hannah Miller's charges are far from the great Barunian teams of yester-year, but they have shown they have the drive and capability to succeed.

It wasn't the smoothest of qualifications, with a mere eight wins to their name. But the the Suns made up for it with 7 draws and only 3 losses, the equal lowest amount of losses in the group and one less than Cosumar, the group winners. Tied with Valladares for second place, the Barunians broke the tie due to a better goal differential. Despite Valladares putting away 43 goals to Barunia's 32, the Suns got away with it by only letting in a mere 18. Both Williams and Hook have been outstanding in goal, while the veteran duo of "Bull" Benitez and "Smashmouth" McClelland anchored the defence. Offensively James Kennedy led the way with 7 goals for the tournament, while Hannah Miller shared 5 with Matt Vine.

It would not be Hannah Miller's first world cup, but it would be her first as captain. She joins Benitez, McClelland, Vine, Adam Donaldson, David Savage, and Daniel Holland as the only current Barunians players to have been to football's premier tournament. Asked what it would mean to lead her country out on to that stage, Miller did not hold back.
"It would mean the world. This is everything we've been working hard for, and we've dreamed of. Being made captain was a dream come true, and I'm forver grateful, but being captain of a world cup squad would be the icing on the cake."
As for possibly becoming the first Barunian captain to lift the trophy? As Miller said, "One can dream. But there's a long way to go before we can start dreaming that."
That road starts or ends with Tumbra tomorrow. So all Barunian fans, get your sky-blue on and head down to Sun Stadium to cheer Barunia into the World Cup!
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Mercedini » Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm

Please increase my style modifier to +5, thanks babes
World Cup Playoffs: First Leg Review
@ Samseongoloondongjang - Montreal, Royal Kingdom of Quebec

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to Mercedini Sports Daily's coverage of qualification for the 80th World Cup hosted by Starblaydia and the Equestrian States. The playoffs are always an interesting times as all teams in contention are in some sort of World Cup purgatory is a state between qualification and elimination, with half of the teams in the playoffs going into each of those categories. As mentioned yesterday, Mercedini drew Banija in their set of playoff fixtures, a team coming from Pot 5 in qualification to surprise many in their group to qualify for the playoffs after finishing in third place.

The venue which was to be the host for the first leg was not the Stadium of the Restoration which was the host throughout the group stable, but became the Samseongoloondongjang in Montreal, Quebec, due to political and social instability in the original location. Around 10,000 Mercedinians were expected to make the trip to Montreal to see the first leg. So let's see how the two teams fared in these conditions and what that means for the second leg in Zoloroni.

Banija 3 - 0 Mercedini
Mavuto 44', Kahara 73', Jawo 88' | Chillotov (MRC) sent off 77'

Attendance - 73,853
Shots On Target

Oh dear. Mercedini have it all to do in the second leg of their World Cup play-off against Banija as they comprehensively lose their de facto away leg to the Pot 5 team by a score of three goals to nil, all but eliminating the Golden Eagles from the World Cup, save for a stellar performance at the Sports City Stadium in the return leg. A three goal haul combined with a clean sheet was not what anyone was predicting in this first leg, not least the Mercedinian team and fans who were practically silent come the final whistle, with some not being able to witness the end of another disastrous Mercedinian performance, leaving as stoppage time was beginning. To add insult to injury, star youth striker Ben Chillotov will not be present for the second leg in Zoloroni, he was sent off with about ten minutes to go for a second bookable offence.

There will plenty of questions that will be asked not only of the management, but also the team, with plenty of Banijan publications commenting before the match regarding the number of young players in the team, which gives the impression that the team is devoid of any real leadership needed if the nations wants to make a return to the multiverse's biggest and most prestigious tournament.

There are plenty of things that pundits and fans are pointing their fingers at to explain the result, with the Quebecois climate, complacency from the players, the neutral venue; all sorts of things to try and explain what was a night to forget for the Golden Eagles and their fans. It was a good turnout from the Mercedinian fans who bought close to 13,000 to the arena fans to bring the total attendance to over 73,000 in the 76,000 capacity stadium. It was a fantastic atmosphere in Montreal with both sets of fans up for the challenge, this was the first part in what was building up to be a thrilling fixture between these two fresh faces on the World Cup scene.

The match kicked off with all of the hype you would expect with a place at the World Cup at stake with the crowds being lifted whenever their team made advances to their opponents goal. It was a cool Montreal night with the conditions not suiting the Mercedinians all that well, they are much more acclimatised to warmer conditions back in Mercedini and in the settings of their domestic clubs, giving Banija a slight edge in the opening minutes of the game. There were plenty of chances for both teams to take lead in a fairly open first half to the match, but neither team could put the ball in the net to earn that crucial opening goal in the game, and that included Dostalok and Chillotov who seemed isolated at the top of the pitch while the midfield play was kept at bay.

That came the goal just on the stroke of half-time with Kiggwe Mavuto scoring the opening goal of the game after a long period of pressure on the Mercedinian goal. Right-winger Chibuzo Afolayan broke down the wind to the Mercedinian by-line, his pace and his technique took the ball past the defenders. He simply squared the ball to the Banijan captain who prodded the ball into the net for the opening goal of the game. Jubilation for the de facto home crowd, it was the perfect chance to strike with only a minute of so before half-time. We were only a quarter way through this intriguing saga, with Banija holding the lead as the teams went in for half time in the first leg.

The teams came back out for the second half with all of the players looking determined to make a statement to their opponents and the rest of the teams still in contention for the World Cup. Banija held their lead and looked to lock out their opponents and potentially score another to make their leader that little bit safer.

The action in the second half started off much slower compared to the prior 45 minutes, as Mercedini held onto the ball for long period with Banija defending stoically to keep their lead and their clean sheet intact. Mercedini pressured the Banijan goal with their main two strikers Chillotov and Dostalok combining well, but Delbin Kasekende in the Banijan goal was on fine form as he parried away shot after shot to prevent Mercedini from netting an all important away goal going into the second leg.

Banija looked to have made the first leg result safe with a second goal fifteen minutes from time with a Kahara goal from the edge of the box. A long ball downfield found Kahara who controlled it well but still had plenty to do before he fired a shot on target. He worked himself into a bit of space and somehow let out a shot while being tracked by Dosic. The curled shot beat the diving hand of Polasic and went in off the post, sending the majoritarily Banijan crowd into ecstasy, with the ‘home’ side running into the corner of the pitch to celebrate with the crowd.

It wasn’t a great performance from Mercedini by any stretch of the imagination and things went from bad to worse for the Golden Eagles when frustration boiled over onto the pitch. A through ball from Nymark found its way through to Dostalok who was put through on goal. He then went down after his shirt was blatantly pulled by central midfielder Wasa Jawo, the referee immediately blew his whistle for a foul but the action didn’t end there. Chillotov then rushed to the aid of his strike partner and confronted Jawo for his action, as he shoved the Banijan to the ground in a moment of madness for the 1860 Azoth striker. A brawl the broke out on the pitch with most of the players on the pitch involved. When the dust settled, Jawo received a yellow for the original foul but Chillotov received a yellow of his own for instigating the subsequent brawl, and considering he was already on a yellow for a prior infringement, he was given his marching orders by the referee.

Chillotov looked visibly distraught was he passed his manager and walked into the tunnel, he cut a lonely figure as he departed the match, a two match ban is expected to be given to the young Mercedinian striker, meaning he’ll miss the second leg and the first match of either the Cup of Harmony or the World Cup depending on the second leg result.

This meant Mercedini had to defend and attack with ten men on the pitch, giving the advantage to Banija when the Golden Eagles were beginning to get a foothold in the game. A miserable match was topped off with a third Banijan goal, with Jowa turning himself into the pantomime villain in the eyes of the Mercedinians, getting one of their star strikers sent off and then scoring what could end up being the nail in the coffin in the match. The goal came from a corner with Jowa rising highest in the box to head low into the net to give his nation a three goal advantage in one of the biggest games in the nation’s footballing history. It was a traffic night to be a Banijan citizen, it provides a helpful distraction from the goings on at home.

Most Mercedinians didn’t stay for the final whistle, but when the referee did blow for the final whistle, there were celebrations around the stadium for the team looking to enter their first ever World Cup Finals. For Mercedini, they are staring a fifth Cup of Harmony square in the face, they need the performance of their lives if they are to even have a sniff at the World Cup. They will be without Chillotov, with perhaps Billic or Alotic available for a cap in the playoff. In Montreal, it finished Banija 3, Mercedini 0.

Playoff First Leg Results
Nova Anglicana 2–4 Chromatika
Abanhfleft 0–1 Audioslavia
Lisander 0–3 South Covello
Juvencus 4–4 Super-Llamaland
Banija 3–0 Mercedini
Valladares 3–4 Drawkland
Eshan 2–4 Savojarna
Free Republics 2–0 Apox
Commonwealth of Baker Park 1–0 Qasden
Maryloupe 0–1 Damukuni
Kalumba 1–5 Turori
Soltsteed 0–1 Buyan
95X 1–1 Sargossa
New Gazi 1–2 Eastfield Lodge
Tumbra 0–1 Barunia

So there we have it. It wasn’t the performance Mercedini wanted to open the play-offs with, with some fans directing their anger towards the tournament organisers for over-complicating the Qualification campaign, but in the end there is more than just Mercedini who finish in second and are at risk of not making it. The Golden Eagles have ninety minutes to save their campaign, with the atmosphere expected to be more deflated than what was predicted before the first leg. It is sure to be a packed crowd as we give you Live coverage of the second leg at the Sports City Stadium, from Montreal in Quebec, goodnight!
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World CupBest: Group Stage ('77)
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Sargossa » Wed May 16, 2018 12:50 pm

The nation hadn’t quite ground to a halt, but it was pretty close. Across the length and indeed breadth of the Archipelago football fans readied themselves for a night of high drama. They’d take a comfortable victory for the hosts but past experience suggested it would probably be a night of high drama. Big screens and fan zones were set up in parks and in domestic stadia, pubs and bars were preparing for an invasion of sports fans and families were getting in the snacks. There may have been two hundred television channels available to the public but there was only going to be one winner in the ratings wars tonight.

Millions would be watching but it was a lucky one hundred thousand who had access to the hottest tickets in town. President Gregorio Emparán himself would be in attendance, along with members of his government, film stars, tycoons, the great and the good of Soluca society and the lucky winners of fifteen thousands tickets that were made available through a national lottery. For the cost of one dinara a seat at the Estadio Generalissimo Joaquín Delgado was the prize for those whose numbers came up. A seat whose current value was going for hundreds. Another five thousands tickets were supplied to schools and colleges across the city, part of a Football Federation drive to win back hearts and minds. Grudgingly they dug out about eight thousand for the 95X contingent too.

The atmosphere was building as kickoff loomed ever nearer. On the pitch the Sargossan players were being put through their warm-ups. Under the watchful eye of assistant coach Raúl Churín and other members of the technical staff the Corsairs undertook their drills. At one end goalkeeping coach Armando Abad was swinging crosses into the penalty area, giving the trio of keepers catching practise. Sprinklers watered the pitch, ground staff went about their work and hundreds of stewards and stadium employers ensured the throngs made their way safely through the concourses. It might be the tenth home fixture of this particular world cup cycle but this was the match that would determine who would take a precious place at the Finals. An entire campaign, nineteen rounds of matches would boil down to this one game.

After the 1 – 1 draw in Oceanside this playoff was still delicately poised, one of only two playoffs that failed to find a winner. Although the other probably made for much better viewing, a sharing of eight goals between Super Llamaland and Sargossa’s Group 4 opponents Juvencus. Elsewhere Turori have one foot at the Finals, as do Chromatika and South Covello. But in Soluca there was still everything to play for. The Corsairs needed goals, the opposition just needed to keep them out. A worrying thought, as who better to come and park the bus than 95X?

One place up for grabs, two teams fighting for it. One thing was sure, ninety minutes of football, or a hundred and twenty minutes or possibly a penalty shootout would decide who would be travelling to Starblaydia and The Equestrian States. The decibel levels grew as the two teams emerged back onto the pitch. The television cameras lingered on Corsairs coach Rodrigo Defederico, whose appointment had rescued a seriously flagging qualification campaign. One more push was needed to secure a thirteenth World Cup appearance, and the first time ever the nation would have appeared in three successive Finals. One national anthem was belted out with aplomb, the other was too albeit with slightly less volume. The players took their positions in their respective halves while the referee did a head count and awaited the nod from pitchside, the cost of television rights ensured kickoff would be promptly on the hour. The matchday announcer ran through the 95X side before starting on the Sargossan lineup. “In goal, number thirteen, Carlos…”. He paused as the crowd did the rest. “RĺOS!” “Number two, Alonzo…” “ZEVALLOS!”. They were still chanting as the referee got his signal, touched the whistle to his lips and got the final match of World Cup 80 qualification underway.
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV / Copa Rushmori XX

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Postby Free Republics » Wed May 16, 2018 2:12 pm

Sebastian Trudeau's announcement that he was running for Consul had come as a massive shock to the Republican political establishment, one that the major parties were all trying to respond to. His populist platform was seen as radically at odds with the goals of the Radicals, the Liberty Party and the Moderate Liberal Conservatives. However, leaders of the Responsible Progress Party, including News Magazine editor Admiral Pierre Theriault and Senator Younes Danielsson were eager to recruit Mr. Trudeau, who had announced his intention to run as an independent, to their party's banner especially after the first polls came in, with Trudeau receiving over 40% of the vote against generic candidates from the other parties.

However, Consul Robert Nicholls was concerned about this turn of events. In the past few years, Consul Nicholls had sought to address the political extremism in the Free Republics by brokering a pact between all of the major media outlets and social media sites to "no platform" non-mainstream parties and politicians and by exiling existing extremist groups to their own "Charter Societies" in the former Leftist Republics territory that effectively acted as containment zones. The fact that a celebrity businessman like Trudeau was able to break through his safeguards and gain traction as a candidate for Consul with a hard-left economic platform was concerning to Consul Nicholls, who wanted above all to make sure that the Free Republics would remain a favorable climate for business. That meant that businesses had to have the right to refuse to negotiate with unions and other troublemakers. Equally concerning was Mr. Trudeau's call for an individual mandate to own and carry a firearm, which was a call to deprive individuals of their right to choose what products to buy or not buy. Yet, Consul Nicholls realized that the absolute worst thing he could do right now would be to give a speech telling voters not to vote for Trudeau. Such a move would, in all likelihood, backfire and only make Trudeau even more popular. The only thing worse would be to give a speech denouncing some fringe extremist group that nobody's ever heard of. To stop Trudeau, Consul Nicholls realized, he would have to rely upon normal politicians and a normal campaign.

In the runup to the upcoming Consul election, most of the big names in Republican politics had already decided that they would not be pursuing the Consul election this year. Abelino Greece, the runner-up in the previous election and leader of the Radicals in the Senate, had announced he would not be running for Consul. Likewise, the leaders of the other major parties in the Assembly: Speaker Patricia Genovese (Moderate Liberal Conservatives), Seth Danielsson (Responsible Progress) and Faredin Pozenel (Liberty) had all declined to run for Consul. The major parties were all looking at competitive primaries featuring a number of relative unknowns to determine their nominees. As polls showed that Mr. Trudeau had the support of 70% of Responsible Progress members, the party was suddenly reluctant to run a candidate for Consul of their own unless that candidate was Trudeau.

The Moderate Liberal Conservatives were formed as the result of the merger of the 3 historic major parties in Republican politics. Until the past 15 years or so, they had dominated Republican politics for over a century, electing 30 consecutive Consuls between the three of them. However, with their fortunes waning, these onetime rival parties decided that a merger was the only way they could remain relevant in the current climate. However, even after the merger, they did not find electoral success, losing election after election to the Radical Alliance, Liberty Party and even extremists like Kulseth, O'Reilly, the Salvation Circle and Samuel Izmailov's Nat-Gre party. However, after winning over a third of the vote in the midterm elections last year and forming a coalition with Responsible Progress, they finally had reason to hope that they would win a Consul's Mansion for the first time since the death of Consul Gilbert Savard 11 years ago. The party's leading candidates were Gloria Lord, Bella Parer, Lucille Tollmache and Addolorata Pisano, which meant that there was a real chance that the Free Republics would elect a woman as Consul for the first time in its history. This was a deliberate strategy as the Moderate Liberal Conservatives were aggressively seeking the women's vote, in the hope that doing so would provide them with a competitive advantage against the other parties.

The Liberty Party tended to rely heavily upon celebrity candidates but, unfortunately for them, they were having difficulties finding a famous professional athlete or actor to be their candidate. Rumor had it that party leaders had tried to recruit New Republican Wrestling Conglomerate boss Abelino Sagese as their candidate but Mr. Sagese turned them down. Other rumors had it that Sir Koby Theodore, assistant manager of Republican National Soccer Team, LLC and former star player for said team, had turned down the opportunity to potentially join his former teammate and close personal friend Kyle Bolton as a Consul of the Free Republics. As of the present time, the party had a single announced candidate: Scarlett Nicholls, the pop singer and daughter of Consul Nicholls but party leaders were concerned about the ability of a woman to win a Consul election and were scrambling to recruit a male candidate.

The Radical Alliance had no shortage of candidates but unfortunately lacked any big names. After fallen former Consul Venicio Piazza's kids had derailed the party's chances 7 years prior by splitting the party, they were now persona non grata in the Alliance. This, plus the decision by Abelino Greece to stay out of this election, left the party with a wide open primary featuring a dozen candidates, all of whom were relative unknowns even amongst people who closely followed Republican politics.

Given the lackluster field of candidates for the upcoming Consul election and the Republican electorate's recent willingness to elect unconventional candidates, nobody was writing off Sebastian Trudeau's candidacy...

The opening leg of the World Cup 80 playoffs had gone exactly according to plan. The Free Republics had won 2 goals to nil and the result had simply never been in serious doubt. Apox's team of unknowns was simply overmatched before a capacity crowd at the MingleDome. While there was a nasty hailstorm outside of the Dome during this match, inside the Dome conditions were absolutely perfect. The home crowd did not have to wait long for the scoring to begin as Johnny Smith's cross connected perfectly with Love Holm's head in the 6th minute. As the match progressed, Apox's goalkeeper would make 16 saves while Taras Sergeyev would only have to make 4 to secure a clean sheet. Maxim Izmailov would score the match-clinching goal in the 73rd minute after the opposing keeper mistakenly tossed the ball right at his feet following a save. Izmailov realized it instantly and launched a perfectly placed shot right at a keeper who was horribly out of position.

As the Republicans filed into their locker room following the match, Soccer General Rule Theriault felt the need to warn them going into the second leg:

"Great match tonight but don't take anything for granted here. We have a 2 goals to nil lead going into the away leg and we did get the better of them today but it may not be so easy going forward. We're going to need to play every bit as hard in Apox as he did here in Latroit. They've got a great tradition in the World Cup and its not going to be easy in the second leg of this playoff. When we go out there for leg 2, forget that you're leading 2 goals to nil. As far as we're concerned, we're still the underdogs going into this match and we will need every ounce of energy in your bodies and will in your souls to defeat them and secure our spot in the World Cup. We didn't win anything today but a 2 goal advantage going into the last 90 minutes of this playoff. We still have to earn our spot in the World Cup with 90 minutes of soccer."
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1st: DBC 28, X Winter Olympics, Independents Cup 4, CoH 66
2nd: World Cup 68, DBC 27, U15WC 8, UWCFA Gold Cup I, BoI 15, 2nd Imperial Chap Olympiad, NSCF 11
3rd: World Cups 71 & 81, DBC 29, UWCFC Gold Cup III, GCoS 1
Qualified: World Cups 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 79
Host: World Cups 68 & 81, CoH 58, X Winter Olympics, World Bowls XXII & XXXI, WBC 42, RUWC 25, Beach Cup XI, World Korfball Classic III, Runner Cup 7
Current Senior Consul: Kyle Bolton (Liberty)
Current Junior Consul: Scarlett Nicholls (Liberty)
Demonym: Republican
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Official Nation Name: Federation of Free Republics
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New Gazi
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Gazi » Wed May 16, 2018 2:45 pm

New Gazi Drops Match One

Cannon Bank Stadium was filled to mass capacity for leg one of the playoff series. New Gazi faced Eastfield Lodge on Gazilian home turf in Africa. It was a game the Cannoneers showed promise of winning. They did enter the match ranked higher than the side from Eastfield Lodge at 35th to 42nd. The game would be a battle that was more one sided than the score told.

Problems plagued the Gazilian defense from early in the match. Early fouls led to cautious play. This gave momentum to Eastfield Lodge. It also turned the Gazilian plan upside down, as the team seemed to lack aggression. New Gazi lost the battle of possession 45% to 55%. Overall this meant the Cannoneers simply looked outplayed.

"We're going to need to play smarter on defense in leg 2", said Gazilian Coach Oliver Hausta. "We're also going to have to really step things up on the attacking half. Tempo. Pace. Timing."

There were several attempts on goal that did not come to fruition. Late in the 1st half, New Gazi was looking to answer an early goal from Eastfield Lodge. Jarlsdottir found herself chasing a through ball from Diya. She caught the shot with everything she had and sent it to the top of the goal, sliding into the back of the net. The keeper seemed to mis-time his jump, perhaps expecting it to go to one side or another.

The linesman blew her whistle and signaled offsides. Carmen had jumped just a bit too early.

New Gazi would score on the 51st minute. Winger Diya sent the corner in from the left side. Amare Contee stepped forward and found the ball with his foot. He tapped it forward, before meeting it with his striking foot. The shot quickly leapt to the top right corner and pegged the net. The CF showed he can still get things done up front.

Unfortunately a late slip on defense would facilitate a second EFL goal. There was a missed call on defense that led to the wrong players picking up the wrong defender. That left one player open. Fafa Biri leapt for the shot but couldn't meet it.

New Gazi would go down by a close margin. The players seemed confident, if not a bit disheartened in post-match interviews. Veteran Jac Biobaku spoke on Game 2. "We have to feel like we should have done better. We collapsed. Now that we understand that, we need to work on changing momentum. On seizing moments."

Vannish transplant and team engine Carmen Jarlsdottir also spoke on New Gazi's future. "The midfield is going to have to step it up on D. I need to move the ball and keep pushing it forward. I also need to work on my marking though. It's a tall order. Eastfield Lodge is a good team. We look forward to the challenge in Match 2."

Jarlsdottir takes over the role of 'prominent Vangazi' on the Gazilian midfield from now retired Imari Lefisse. Lefisse spent this season as an analyst for Vangaziland's national broadcast games. He spent several seasons playing for New Gazi. Now he's moved back to Vangaziland for a job in sports media broadcasting.

Carmen wouldn't speak on her potential life after playing football. A recent interviewer asked her if she would move back to Vangaziland after she finished her career. "That's not on my radar", she said laughing. "All I'm focused on is this playoff series. I literally can't think that far ahead. First things first, man."

The Cannoneers will travel to Eastfield Lodge for Match 2.
Last edited by New Gazi on Wed May 16, 2018 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Wed May 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Take Oljer Want
Bulls boss first leg, foot in the World Cup door

It may not have been pretty, and it may have involved Desya Kuznetsov's sheer wazockry on the field to force Wilf Lidgley to go to plan B, but Audioslavia did it. Victory, by a single away goal, sets the good ship Audioslavia on course for Starblaydia and Equestria.

Abanhfleft, no strangers to big matches, had the better of a first half which included a five minute period in which the home side forced eight corners in succcession, each defended more chaotically than the last. Audioslavia, on the ropes early in the second, had to withdraw an effective yet unpredictable on sixty minutes after one too many attempts to check Dawn Jackson's pulse, via a hand on the neck every time the ball came near them, resulted in a yellow card and a warning that his next infraction would be a red. Lidgley, playing it safe, introduced Ciro Oljer to the team in Kuznetsov's stead, and it would be Oljer's pace and trickery which would force the only goal of the game, forcing the ball to the corner of the area, seeing a pass to Fraser blocked, and firing in the rebound from 18 yards to put the away side one goal to the good.

Audioslavia were derided for over-confidence going into the game after leaflets purporting to be a tourist's guide to Cup of Harmony hosts Vilita, penned by one Jeremy Jaffacake, were found stapled to doors in Abanhfleft on the eve of the game. It is the Bulls, however, who go into the second leg as favourites despite being 20 ranking points worse off than their opponents.

Audioslavia generally have a good record in World Cup playoffs, having won all but a solitary 8-team tournament in World Cup 5 which saw the side miss out on World Cup football. Audioslavia's record in qualifiers is impressive, only failing to qualify, when entered, on six occasions: Cycles 5, 37, 59, 60, 61 and 62. A draw or victory in next week's game will see the Bulls entered into World Cup competition once more, after declining to enter World Cup 79.

Ciro Oljer, impressive in a role that complimented that of Roddy Fraser, is tipped to start the second leg alongside Fraser, with Kuznetsov perhaps best utilised as a shock trooper towards the end of the game. Wonderkid Arjen Jensen, already with four goals for the national team despite his tender years, will also be tipped for a role after making a nuisance of himself in the final ten minutes.

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Postby Banija » Wed May 16, 2018 5:10 pm


Big win for the Kadongo Kamu in Montreal puts Banija on the brink of their first ever appearance in the World Cup Finals

Kiggwe Mavuto(#10) celebrates the game's opening goal in the dying minutes of the first half en route to Banija's 3-0 playoff win

MONTREAL, ROYAL KINGDOM OF QUEBEC- We were excited for what the Banijans might be able to bring to the table. Many people figured this would be an entertaining playoff tie, between two teams vying for what would be quite a rare apperance in the World Cup Finals. Playing in Montreal, even though a Commonwealth country with a lot of Banijans, was seen as a weakness for this national team. But not this game. Banija's new 'Theater of Dreams' delivered, as a sellout crowd rocked and roared in favor of the Banijans, pushing the team forward and chanting in favor of the national team, though most of the chanting, of course, was in Korean, rather than any of Banija's native languages. Still, cheering is cheering, and the Kadongo Kamu's trio of goals have taken one massive step forward towards the World Cup Finals.

It was, as Marcus Waters called it, a near 'flawless performance' from the Banijan national team. They were rock solid in the back, as the defenders were able to shut down their Mercedini opponents, especially their young terrors up top. In what looks to be another campaign of heartbreak of Golden Eagles, looks to be a campaign of ecstasy for the Banijan national team. They were able to dominate possession and control the initiative, with 58% of the possesion in the game, and launching 17 shots with 6 on target, compared to only a pair of shots on target for the Golden Eagles. They took initiative with the possession, and they truly looked like a team whose opportunity to qualify for the World Cup Finals was truly a once in a lifetime- a rare opportunity for a trip to the World Cup Finals. In this leg, at least, they took the bull by the horns, and rather than playing scared, they were confident, not letting the moment become bigger than them, and taking one large step towards their first ever appearance in the World Cup Finals- a trip to Starblaydia and the Equestrian States, to boot.

Marcus Waters, speaking to reporters, was ecstatic about the victory. "It is extremely difficult to qualify for the World Cup Finals, as this country knows- this is the team's seventh attempt to qualify for the World Cup, and each time, we have come up short. But it speaks to the resiliency of these people, and its players, that we find ourselves in this position. I remember watching Banija's first national team- losing every single game in World Cup 73 Qualifying. How far this team has come, with veterans like Kiggwe Mavuto leading the charge, and youngsters like Gitonga Kahara, is a testament to effort and hard work. However, like I said, while we played a great game today, this tie is not over. It is only halftime. We still have 90 minutes to go, as we prepare for a visit to Mercedini at the Zoloroni Sports City Stadium. It is an incredible venue- and we expect every one of those seats to be filled, as they have an incredible, passionate fanbase who will surely come out to support their national team. If anyone thinks that we have this in the bag, think again. The pressure, and the onus, is now on us. With the pressure relaxed, and the backing of their home faithful, the Golden Eagles are more than capable of putting up a 5 goals and knocking us out. We must remain on top of our game if we want to advance, and we cannot take the foot off the gas pedal."

Let's get to the match itself, shall we? This game has been billed as the opportunity for Banija's veterans to step up in the spotlight, to take the opportunity to seal their legacy as a great one of Banijan players- a generation that would qualify directly for the World Cup Finals. These kinds of ties are legacy definers for players like Kiggwe Mavuto. A player who has always been loved by Banijan fans, has never been able to get the Banijans over the hump. He has been talented himself, of course, but has never had the type of squad around him with his own will, with his own energy, to make the next leap to the stratosphere, in regards to actually becoming a team that could go to the World Cup Finals. Mavuto was one of the major reasons this team was able to turn around their qualification campaign- his cool, level-headedness, his ability to internalize, his ability to not panic when things got tough, or to not let the moment get to his head, was extremely important in what is likely to be his final opportunity to get to the World Cup Finals. It is simply fitting that he scored the opening goal, even if it was a sitter, and that it was he who opened the scoring for the national team.

Overall, the excellent performance from the national team came from outstanding performances from those players in the back. Banija's back four continued their hot run, with the Wilmer Jaurequi goal in Banija's final World Cup Qualifier the only goal that this team has allowed in their last five matches. Marcus Waters ability to fix Banija's defense and midfield pairing is why Banija, instead of sitting in the cellar of World Cup Qualification, is on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup Finals. But how were they able to help protect the back line, still not exactly known for their stoutness? It was great midfield play from the men in the middle. Isaac Georgadis and Daniel Asres, the latter of whom was replaced by Elijah Riga in the 51st minute, was able to keep the Golden Eagles at bay. Not to mention Delbin Kasekende, a goalkeeper who stood on his head to keep the Golden Eagles. Even with the fresh legs of Riga, it was extremely tough to keep out the faster and younger Mercedinians. George Wangolo, the captain for the World Cup 79 Qualification campaign, was subsituted onto the pitch for Abate Berhanu in the 71st minute, was brought on to finish the match so that Mercedini would not be able to qualify for the World Cup Finals.

George Wangolo helped start the team's second goal, with a long ball that set Gitonga Kahara free, who was able to scored a wondrous bender into the back of the net as he ran towards the corner, and the team piled on top of him, as the team was up 2-0. Wasa Jawo, the 30 year old defender who made a controversial big money move to Petroslovakia United before the World Cup 79 Qualification campaign, and the only Banijan defender to start all 18 World Cup Qualifiers, as the rest of the defense was wholesale changed out after Matchday 10, fittingly scored the game's final goal, a clincher in the 88th minute. Leading the defense to keep their fourth clean sheet in 5 attempts, and allowing just 1 goal in their last 450 minutes on the pitch, he has been a key man for this team as they hunt for their first ever appearance in the World Cup Finals.

We got comments from a couple of players following the match. First, of course, we spoke to the opening goalscorer, and the captain, Kiggwe Mavuto. "This was always going to be a tough match for us, and we are extremely pleased at this result." Said Kiggwe Mavuto. "This was beyond our wildest dreams, as we scored both a trio of goals and Delbin (Goalkeeper Delbin Kasekende) and the rest of the back four was able to keep a clean sheet, not allowing the Golden Eagles to get a crucial away goal. That said, we certainly haven't qualified yet. It is extremely hard to get to the World Cup Finals, and we cannot assume we are there until the final whistle is blown, next week, at Zoloroni Sports City. They scored 44 goals during World Cup Qualification for a reason. They are an extremely talented squad, and have built a young core that will be good for quite a while for Mercedini. If we step off of the gas at Zoloroni Sports City, well... they are certainly capable of pulling off this comeback, and if we don' t understand that, then they will."

Wasa Jawo, the Banijan center back who scored the game's final goal, also spoke to us after the game. "This was a great game, for this team, and for our country." Said Wasa Jawo. "I am glad that I was able to put one into the back of the net myself, for the entire back line. We have put in a ton of work after starting off poorly, and I feel that we get a bad rap, especially from our own media. This team is capable of providing a good enough defense that can take us all the way to the World Cup Finals, but we can't step back. We have to keep being aggressive, and do what we can to maintain our advantage. A couple of strikes, and they are right back in it, in front of their own crowd. We can't allow them to go out there and grab the momentum." He was also asked about the moment where he blatantly pulled down Daniel Dostalok that led to the scuffle, and ultimately, Ben Chillotov's red card. "I had no intention of starting any kind of fight, or asking for a yellow card on anybody. I was simply playing the game, and doing my best to play defense. The referee did his job." When asked if he flopped when he fell to the ground after Chillotov's shove, he said that he 'absolutely did not scoff', even though more than a few of the Banijan reporters accused him of doing so.

Now, of course, they will make the return trip to Zoloroni, to take on Mercedini in front of close to 75,000 fans of the Golden Eagles. How will the Banijans do? Well, it will be interesting to say. The Banijans will likely trot out the same lineup that they started this game with, but look for John Tewedros or Elijah Riga to get some playing time off of the bench, or even Okonkwo Okparro, if they really need a goal. The interesting thing about this is that the pressure, which initially was on the Golden Eagles due to their status as favorite, is now squarely on the shoulders of the Kadongo Kamu. It would take a lot for the Banijans to miss the World Cup Finals at this point, and now they have to deal with that pressure, the pressure of expectation. They've been the loveable underdogs climbing up the ladder since that fateful four game losing streak to finish off World Cup Qualifying. However, with this 3-0 win, now they are the favorites to advance. Can we handle the pressure? And conversely, will the pressure being lifted off the shoulders of the Golden Eagles invigorate them? Pressure can do a lot to some teams, especially younger teams. But with the weight of expectation lifted off their shoulders, will they feel freed to send waves of men forward, and maitnain the sustained pressure, and score the goals necessary to complete what would be a historic comeback, and make just their second appearance in the World Cup Finals? Even with Ben Chillotov suspended for the second leg, the men behind him, like Sgt. Sam Billic, are certainly capable of pairing with Daniel Dostalok and being a terrific, and lethal, goalscoring combination.

We'll have the preview of that second leg for you ourselves! Congratulations to the national team for their emphatic win tonight, and, of course, we're all rooting for them to get the result necessary in Zoloroni to qualify for Starblaydia and the Equestrian States!
Kingdom of Banija(3rd world nation). RP Population: 87 million
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
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Postby Turori » Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 pm


And the Cocoabo Rest
Citizen Squad to finish things off in Eelandii

For a more complete backstory regarding Cocoabo Forest and the Rise of the Modern Cocoabo please visit the Historical Record on the Atlantian Oceania Forum

Kahali National Stadium, Kalumba :: Turori's National Citizen Squad took care of business on Matchday 18 against the Liamese Empire to secure second place in Group 10 and a favorable playoff draw for the Turori National Team in the World Cup 80 Qualification Playoff round. It was perhaps a little bit of redemption for the Citizen Squad who would have believed they were playing their final match of the campaign, after it was their 0-for-4 start that dug the hole that kept the Turori National Team out of the running for the groups top spot and Automatic Qualification.

World Cup 80 Qualifying:
Image ImageImage
Image Image

Ultimately Turori were drawn agaisnt Kalumba with one club assured a place in the World Cup Final and the other headed towards a non-EqueStar'ian destiny. The Cocoabo needed extra security getting into the 18,000 capacity Kahali National Stadium in Kalumba due to the rampant hooliganism lining the streets.

Once the match got underway, however, those concers were a thing of the past and the only thing that became rampant were the offensive outputs of the Tuoriran Cocoabo Squad.

After Cocoabo #99 opened the scoring and the Cocoabo Squad led 1-0 at the half. Then an incredible burst of offensive prowess over a 5-6 minute period in the second half turned the tie on its head. Cocoabo #91 and the substitute Cocoabo #62 exchanged a pair of goals each as Turori ran out to a 5-0 lead around the hour mark. It was obviously a deflating moment for Kalumba but perhaps also a rejuvenating one - switching from playing for competition to playing for pride, Kalumba would ultimately get their own names on the scoresheet through the experienced Roland Grezlak.

Nonetheless, with the 5-1 victory the Cocoabo Squad have set them up nicely for the second leg and possible advancement to the World Cup Finals. So nicely, in fact that the Football Association of Turori (FAT) have adjusted the schedule and it will be the Citizen Squad and not the Cocoabo featuring in the return leg of the tie at Eel's Park in Eelandii. With a four-goal advantage heading into the second leg and a total of five away goals in their favor, the FAT decided it would be wise to give the Cocoabo a rest and start focusing them on what might come next - potentially looking for ways in which they might be able to advance behind the semi-final stage.

Citizen Team Schedule:

[L] MD1 v. Melbergia
(Iobabao Legendary Park, Mliona)

[L] MD5 @ Quakmybush

[L] MD6 v. Acapais
(Almintora National Stadium, Almintora)

MD7 @ Lazhal

>> TO COCOABO SQUAD << MD11 v. Xianina
(Coliseum of the Inurahtii, Inura)

[W] MD12 @ Jeruselem

>> TO COCOABO SQUAD << MD13 @ Ethane

>> TO COCOABO SQUAD << MD17 @ Banija

[W] MD18 v. The Liamese Empire
(Eels Park, Eelandii, Turori)

PO2 v.Kalumba
(Eels Park, Eelandii, Turori)
Cocoabo Team Schedule:

[W] MD2 @ Xianina

[L] MD3 v. Jeruselem
(Kionao Minor Field, Kionao)

[W] MD4 v. Ethane
(Cednia Beach Center, Cednia)

[W] MD8 v. Banija
(Cocoabo Park Arena, Cocoabo Forest)

[W] MD9 @ The Liamese Empire

[W] MD10 @ Melbergia

[W] MD11 v. Xianina
(Coliseum of the Inurahtii, Inura)

[W] MD13 @ Ethane

[W] MD14 v. Quakmybush
(Cocoabo Park Arena, Cocoabo Forest)

[D] MD15 @ Acapaias

[W] MD16 v.Lazhal
(Cocoabo Park Arena, Cocoabo Forest)

[L] MD17 @ Banija

[W] PO1 v.Kalumba

Turori [5] - [1] Kalumba

:: Turori Goalscorers ::
:: 20' Cocoabo #99
:: 57' Cocoabo #91
:: 60' Cocoabo #62
:: 61' Cocoabo #91
:: 65' Cocoabo #62
:: Turori Statistics ::
:: Possession: 62%
:: Shots on Target: 12
:: Corner Kicks: 24
:: Kalumba Statistics ::
:: Possession: 38%
:: Shots on Target: 4
:: Corner Kicks: 5

Turori Eels Lineup v. Kalumba ::
[GK]Cocoabo #86, [D.]Cocoabo #57, [D.]Cocoabo #58, [D.]Cocoabo #53, [ML] Cocoabo #46, [MC] Cocoabo #61, [MC]Cocoabo #71, [MR] Cocoabo #64, [FC] Cocoabo #97, [FC]Cocoabo #91, [FC]Cocoabo #99
[FC]Cocoabo #94, [FC]Cocoabo #90, [M]Cocoabo #62, [M]Cocoabo #65, [U ]Cocoabo #72, [D]Cocoabo #56, [GK]Cocoabo #87

Last edited by Turori on Wed May 16, 2018 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
<Silexhera> Why does Turori make sense? :p

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Postby Chromatika » Wed May 16, 2018 9:50 pm

The Chromatik Roster: Grades Through Qualifying

And with eighteen games played, let us look at each of the players and how theyve fared up to this point:

Jazmin Dragana: Starts: 3
Ki Niro: Appearances: 4 Goals: 1
Xi Xe: Starts: 3 Appearances: 1 Goals: 2 Captains: 1
Carrol Liam: Starts: 3 Appearances: 1 Goals: 2
Ga-yeong Han: Starts: 5 Goals: 2
Andréa Croix-Pierre: Starts: 4 Goals: 2
The Rundown: Xi Xe and Ki Niro are making a serious push to outright supplant Jazmin Dragana. Han and Croix-Pierre are waiting in the wings.
Biggest Surprise: It'll be amazing to see who wins it between Han and Croix-Pierre in the future. Croix-Pierre's tandem nature with Armageddon is quite important, too.
Biggest Letdown: Jazmin Dragana. Seriously, no goals? Sure, setting up Andisori is good, but...

Keira Andisori: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1 Goals: 4 Captains: 1
Kaytlyn Victoriane: Starts: 4 Appearances: 2 Goals: 1 Captains: 1
Olimpia Vidal: Starts: 4 Appearances: 4 Goals: 4
Miranda Gail: Starts: 8 Appearances: 3 Goals: 3 Captains: 2
Rowena Sierra: Starts: 8 Goals: 4
Beaunia Andisori: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1 Goals: 5
Victorina Bird: Starts: 4 Appearances: 1 Goals: 2
The Rundown: Yes, the two are set in stone. Keira is almost reaching 100 goals. Kaytlyn Victoriane is the next new hot thing. With five behind them, a future where Chromatika has even more strikers is even more.
Biggest Surprise: Beaunia Andisori. Wow, the younger Andisori is kind of tearing it up against lesser opposition...
Biggest Letdown: Nobody really failed, not really.
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WC Proper Appearance: 75 (Ro16), 76 (SF), 77, 78 (QF), 79 (Ro16)
KPB Ranking: 7 (Mid 80)

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Vivacious Day in Valladares

Postby Drawkland » Wed May 16, 2018 10:31 pm

Drawkland World Cup Qualification Playoff, Leg 1

There's just something about Drawkians and goals, isn't it? Fun fact, in 107 matches, only 7 of those matches were shutout losses. And of those shutout losses, only two of them were in a World Cup sanctioned match (both in our first cycle). If there's something you can't stop a Drawkian from doing, it's scoring a damn goal. Our first-ever match was a 3-3 draw, our 100th match was a 5-5 draw. I'm sure when La Nacional took the pitch, they were excited to let loose. An offensive team like them? An even more offensive team like us? It was gonna be a wild day.

As soon as the tickets were available you know I was booking my seat in Valladares. My friend all know me as the DISC nerd - I follow all the Drawkland national teams religiously. I don't mind the joking, because really this is just my hobby. This is what brings me excitement, seeing the heroes of our nation do battle around the multiverse. I just love to watch it, it's the simple facts.

Kick Corps Lineup
GK: Savannah Everett
LB: Lorraine Collins
CB: Seon-Yann Slater
RB: Bela Tracy
LM: Siv Foss
CM: Ellzidan
RM: Ilana Way
LF: Jackie Crawford
WF: Aurora Jewel
CF: Corynn Turati
RF: Mickey Watson
La Nacional Lineup
GK: Alan Cross
LB: Romain Capelle
CB: Thiago Matheus
RB: Frédéric Pedretti
DMC: Leonardo Rojas
DMC: Gaëtan Malicki
OMC: Adrián Bassa
OMC: Cristian Arango
FW: Adam Pinto
FW: Pablo Scotti
FW: Mario Ovalle
I heard on a sports website report that Michael Starre was sending out a nearly entire second-string lineup to start in Valladares. Something about resting the starters, something about wanting to have a fully full-strength team playing in Drawkland the next week. I respected the decision, obviously as a fan I can't do anything about that, but I was a little worried. The away leg is arguably more important to play well at than the home leg, because it's the one where the advantage is not yours. That's just my take, anyway. What do I know? I'm not the sports expert. If you ask my friends, anyway. I like to think I'm well-versed.

So I go to this game, the atmosphere is great. Not as great as some Drawkian matches I've been to, but Valladar fans are by no means placid. The match started and everyone was going wild. For the first 10 minutes, both teams seemed to be tentative. Neither seemed to lash out and take chances on the other, and the ball traded sides of the midfield for a few minutes. Around 15 minutes in, La Nacional took steady control of the ball and started to play around with the Corps defense. For obvious reasons, this was beginning to make me a little nervous. We're not exactly known for having an airtight defensive stand. Sure enough, Adam Pinto scored to make it 1-0 Valladares.

The home fans were obviously excited, and the Drawkian fans (I was near a big section of large supporters) just sat in anticipation. We were just waiting for our return blow. When the Kick Corps got the ball back after the goal, they took possession and refused to relinquish it. A few off-target shots were made, and the Valladar keeper, Cross was his name, tried booting it downfield, only for a much taller Drawkian to jump in the way and instantly create a counterattack. They tried their hardest to score, but to no avail. Eventually La Nacional figured out a strategy to get the ball down the pitch without being intercepted on a deep pass, and started a long possession of their own. Because of the Corps expecting to pull another attack out soon, the team was more on the offensive side of the pitch, and the Valladars quickly shot down the field to get a numbers advantage. It worked, and about 40 minutes in, they scored again, this one courtesy of Pablo Scotti for the 2-0 Valladares lead. By now, me and the rest of the Drawkian fans were starting to get frustrated. Where was our offensive prowess? We had a great attack going that just totally petered out.

There were only a handful of minutes remaining in the half, and we were all itching for a score before the half. Maybe this is just a compulsion we get because of Drawkian philosophy regarding end-of-half situations in gridiron football, where teams will aggressively try to score before halftime without abandon. While this is a little more difficult in soccer, especially on the international scene, it's still commonly employed by the Corps. That's what all us Drawkland fans were praying for as the time ticked up through the 40s. Sure enough, our prayers were answered. Jackie Crawford had a shot at the goal, but passed it with a sideways flick of her foot to a wide-open Corynn Turati, who easily booted it into the corner of the goal to finally make it 2-1, still with a Valladares lead. Pretty much right after the ball was put back into play, the whistle for halftime was blown.

I went and got myself some sunflower seeds and a sandwich at a concession stand at halftime, as well as a beer. It was a nice meal, but nothing like the stuff we have in the good ol' DRK. A 2-1 game isn't exactly the most ideal, but I certainly wouldn't be adverse to only being a goal down going into the second leg. Ideally though, we'd be scoring more goals. And that we did. The second half did, admittedly, get off to a slow start, but it wasn't too long before a team managed to gain solid control of the ball out of a midfield limbo. That was Drawkland, of course. Our girls did what they needed to do. Jackie Crawford managed to get a free kick, which she barely arced into the goal to make the game a 2-2 tie.

Just like that, momentum was suddenly on the Kick Corps side. The crowd, especially the Drawkian side, was now invigorated. The team was now seeming to hum together on all cylinders. La Nacional may have gotten possession after the goal, but it was never solid. The defense became very aggressive, being physical and crowding the Valladar players, sending tackles and slides to steal passes all over the place. Despite this, the Valladars worked further and further into Drawkian territory to try and get a goal to put themselves back on top. This was all apart of the plan, apparently. Seon-Yann Slater managed to cleanly tackle the ball off of Mario Ovalle as he pressed towards the goal. It came to the feet of Ilana Way who then instantly slammed it downfield, despite the only player even close was Corynn Turati. Turati stayed onsides, working one-on-one with Thiago Matheus of La Nacional. Way's pass came bouncing down to the earth near the box. Alan Cross, the keeper, didn't venture out to get the ball, because Turati was now peeling away from Matheus and thundering towards the goal. With only the keeper to beat, Turati gave one shimmy to throw Cross diving in one direction before she netted the ball in the other. It was now a 2-3 Drawkland ballgame, our first lead of the night.

Surely Drawkland could hold onto their lead, right? Of course not. It was choking time, or so it seemed. Valladares was then determined to steal as much of the remaining time in the match, holding the ball as much as possible and being very careful and direct with passing. The Drawkian defense simply couldn't get a turnover. La Nacional's plan seemed to work perfectly. Very late in the match, they finally found a hole, and Adrián Bassa got through the gap with the equalizer to make it a late-game 3-3 tie. Us Drawkian fans were crushed. We were praying to leave with a goal advantage, and now we were going to be stuck with a tougher road to qualification in the final leg. Or so we thought.

I don't know what they were saying in the huddle right after that goal was scored. I don't know what Starre had written up. But by god, it was genius. The referee had signaled for 3 minutes of extra time, so ultimately we only had around 5 minutes to work with to try and make something out of this other than a high-scoring draw. From what I could tell, though, it seemed obvious. Give it to the Ol' Girl. Right off the bat, Drawkland started pressing towards the Valladar goal. There would be no safe play, no defense hanging back. Only the lone Savannah Everett was left on the Drawkian side of the field, everyone pressed. La Nacional desperately covered the strikers, hoping to plug all the gaps, to park the bus, to stop the inevitable advance. They simply could not. The section full of Drawkian fans was crowded around that side's goal, making an absolute racket, doing everything they could to break the concentration of Alan Cross, of the Valladar defense. The Kick Corps was full throttle and nothing could stop them. And nobody could stop Ellzidan. She was in the center of the box, directing traffic, passing the ball back and forth, getting the ball to where it needed to be that very moment. Just like old times. This entire onslaught only really happened over the span of a minute and a half. And at the end of this sequence, there was a gaping hole in the dead middle of the box. Jewel had the ball, seeing the hole, and instantly passed it in to Ellzidan. A split second decision, and she sent the ball flying into the upper corner of the net where Cross had no possible way to save it. And the Drawkian crowd exploded (with appropriately angry boos from the many more Valladars in attendance). Ellzidan, her first match back, had scored a match-winning goal to further propel Drawkland towards our ultimate goal of qualification. 3-4 Drawkland read the scoreboard, and despite the best attempts of Valladares' La Nacional, there was no equalizing.

The referee blew the whistle and the match was up. The Drawkians cheered once again, and after the standard postgame festivities we all departed to take the flights back to Avon and the portal flights back home. It was a damn good game. And now all we have to do is not lose by more than a goal, at home! Surely the 19th-ranked nation can at least draw the 29th-ranked nation, with home field advantage, and all the momentum going with them, right? At least I pray as much. I'd hate to have to actually pay attention to the Cup of Harmony this year. On Corps indeed.

(Pinto 16', Scotti 39', Bassa 87') – (Turati 45+1', Crawford 63', Turati 75', Ellzidan 90')
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed May 16, 2018 10:40 pm

Marie O'Brien had kept quite busy over the last few days. Following on from the news of the Equestrian States Navy muscling their way through the Banijan patrols and getting a relief ship into the harbor at Nezrouch, the tenor of the daily security precautions seemed to slack off.
She had received an order direct from Fleet Command to take Reliant straight into Nezrouch and call upon the senior officer in charge of the Equestrian Royal Navy squadron.

After an initial radio communication, Marie took her seat in the motor launch and was taken the several hundred yards to the command ship of the Equestrian Navy--she wore her Class B uniform, with the optional skirt instead of slacks for a change--and was welcomed aboard with salutes, after the traditional naval custom of asking for permission from the Captain.
Marie wasn't one hundred percent sure how to cope with the fact that these sailors were actually equine beings; she had decided she would stick to strict navy custom and protocol, in order to not offend.
"Commander O'Brien, welcome." Captain Lightning Twister had executed a crisp salute than Marie had returned. "It is our privilege to have you aboard."

Marie rarely lacked confidence in her ability to make conversation with anyone. "Thank you Captain, I am thrilled to be able to convey the Commonwealth of Baker Park's best wishes to you and your crew, and also to your...Oma...Omu...Princess? Forgive me, I didn't practice enough, no disrespect intended." She gave a wan smile.
"None taken Commander, please come this way and have a seat."


Matthew had genuinely been worried about Jonas and Leonard, and after they had made their way to a small juice shop nearby, he got them calmed down enough to go back over the basics. He said they needed to call the police and have them come and make a report (and remember that the stranger Wilifred was the leading suspect in their minds). He also repeated the part about Gabriel; he was as much in the dark about him as the two of them were, but that Gabriel himself had been responsible for the huge windfall to help them purchase another fishing boat.
Matt stayed glued to the men for the next few hours, after they phoned the Istria Police; and as the theft of the boat was also under the jurisdiction of the Harbor Patrol, which then also drew in Banijian Coast Guard, the manpower devoted to investigating the stolen fishing boat was much larger than if it had been a stolen car or even a stolen personal watercraft.

He also went with them back to their homes, where he had been a guest less than 24 hours earlier; of course that meant that he was obligated to share the evening meal, which was not a hardship for Mahoney, but meant that didn't get back to his flat until close 21:00, and he had to be at work in less than 12 hours.

It was well after midnight when the Prime Minister got around to composing her reply to Isebantu Mwanga, and she'd had a full schedule of engagements that both had interrupted and brought clarity to the prompt back channel response.

Your Highness,

I hope both you and your father the Kabaka understand that on an official level, we are extremely disturbed by the actions of Mr Mutebi, and our public reactions to events being driven by him are the objections and policy of our government.

I also hope that you and your father and the rest of the Royal Family understand that the Commonwealth of Baker Park is 100% behind any plans you have devised to change the dynamics of the current drought/famine relief efforts. We are still completely committed to providing your citizens with aid of all types, and under that responsibility, every action that we undertake in regards to Banija is based upon that premise.

I personally, and our government collectively, have the strongest belief that you and the Kabaka truly have your nation's best interests at heart. And we will provide any support that you require, we shall not fail or falter if asked.

Yours Respectfully

Rebecca Schoenlein
Prime Minister
Soccer--Under-18 World Cup (Sporting World Cup 5) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
World Cup 81 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football--NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 Mineral Conference Champions



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