February 4, 2021

Football Manager Journeys #3: The Ecuadorian Misery Trail

Football Manager Journeys #3: Dorados de Sinaloa (Liga MX!)  


Since you last joined us the mighty flying fish of Sinaloa have made it into Mexican’s elite footballing league. Let’s see how they rate our chances of winning the big one… 



Oh. I guess we’d better sign some players then. Are the board still obsessed with us signing Ecuadorian players for some reason? Yes. Yes, they are.  



I’d better go and sign an Ecuadorian superstar then. The bad news on this front is that all the good Ecuadorian players, and trust me I scouted all of the national squads, don’t want to play for Dorados. So, I ended up with John Mercado. The 24-year-old winger doesn’t fit into my system, is the second highest paid player at the club and is shit. In the one position he could play, RM, he is my fifth choice. And we have terrible squad depth. So he’s never going to play, he’s expensive as fuck and the board have literally complained about the signing because it’s not good value. Will they let me sign anyone else now I’ve actually signed an Ecuadorian player? NO. No, they fucking won’t. I can’t even sign loan players. Literally all I can do is sign players on free transfers. I have a £5M war chest to fight relegation and the board have the key. I’VE TRIED TO SIGN GOOD ECUADORIAN PLAYERS YOU FUCKING IDIOTS, IT’S NOT HAPPENING. GET A GRIP. 




There is good news on this front though. The U23 rule doesn’t apply in the top flight and I’m not limited to 5 foreign players, that’s gone up to 12.  


IN: Hassani Dotson (currently in MLS with Minnesota IRL). The American utility man has been signed to help with my appalling squad depth. His normal position is right back but he can also play left back and anywhere in midfield. He may even start in centre midfield as he’s got 13 long shots. He’s a rounded player with 11’s and 12’s all over his attributes.  


IN: Agustin Alvarez (currently at Penarol IRL). Uruguayan striker who will probably lead the line. He needs a bit of work and has finishing 11 but most of his good attributes are aimed at link up play so hopefully he can lay on a few for his strike partners.  


IN: Kevin Garza (regen). He has reasonable potential but probably won’t play this season. He’s a winger but he can’t cross. If his pace and crossing develop then he might make the grade. 


IN: Jesus Ricardo Angulo (currently at Guadalajara). This is a great signing. He was born in Culiacan. He was a Dorados player until he moved somewhere better. He’s come home! He will be switching with Lecaros on the left. He’s technically worse but has great physicals including manly stamina of 16. Whenever Lecaros was injured we suffered but no more! 


IN: Hector Arandia (regen). This is me panicking and thinking Zuniga’s loan would end. So I just signed some AMC’s. Hector is decent but he’s a total wimp and will get brushed off the ball easily. I wish I could insert his flair and technique into another player.  


IN: Carlos Cabana (currently at Penarol, the Argentinian one). Again, this guy is a total wimp. He has no physical attributes at all and at 30 years old, isn’t going to gain any either. What he does have is excellent mentals (decisions 16, flair 14, determination 19, off the ball 15) and solid technicals. If I’d had this guy in the Expansion League we would have walked it. Anytime Zuniga wasn’t performing this guy would have been here to push him. His experience would have lifted us.  


IN: Alex Muyl (currently plays in MLS for Nashville). Muyl is technically poor but he has fantastic mental and physical attributes. Big numbers on determination and work rate, plus stamina. He can play just about anywhere on either flank. The only outfield position he can’t play is centre back. He will start on the right side allowing Chavez to move up front.  


IN: Santiago Roman (currently at Puebla). Roman is probably the worst player I’ve signed in this window but I was worried we didn’t have enough centre backs and he’s Mexican. He’s not very good in the air and is a coward. He has crossing 1 but someone has literally tried to retrain him as a winger.  


IN: Nicolas Morro (currently at Merlo in Argentina). I briefly confused him with NFL player Nicholas Morrow and thought he was hench as fuck. He’s a left footed central defender, which gives me the Manriquez balance without having to actually play Manriquez. They are relatively similar but Morro is stronger, has more stamina and can do technical things like mark and has actual technique. Manriquez is still better mentally but I can live with that.  



This is my new starting XI. You’ll notice Dylan Caro is missing. That’s because he’s suspended. I literally don’t know where Dotson fits in here, I’m not going to lie to you. Chavez ends up staying on the right wing because Muyl is, by some distance, the best right back I have. Morro comes in at centre back, while retaining the balance there. Cabana and Zuniga will alternate at AMC. Lecaros retains his place but is under pressure. Alvarez is way better than Vic Gutierrez and slots in alongside Abelando.  


It’s not quite deadline day though so, with Castillo looking shaky… 


IN: Jensen Weir (currently at Brighton). Davie Weir’s boy. He’s a box to box midfielder with heart and energy to burn. I’ve signed 11 players. How’s that for squad depth? 3000-1? This should shift us a bit closer eh?  




What were Leicester’s title odds again? I feel like bankrupting every bookie in Sinaloa here. Along with the two stages of the league we also compete in the Copa MX. We’ve been drawn in a group with Cruz Azul, who were the best team in Mexico last year but they didn’t win the league. They just finished top. If that makes sense. The third team in the group is Gavilanes, who are in the regional leagues and have no manager.  


July 10, 2026 



We start against the hated San Luis. The team that riled Maradona. Our greatest rivals in the game. They’re bigger, richer and have every possible advantage. I end up shuffling the deck a bit here to use defenders who are familiar with each other. So Nava starts at left back, Padilla at right and only Morro debuts. In midfield Weir is too good to leave out and he starts, as does Alvarez up front. It’s a star studded bench with Angulo, Cabana, Muyl awaiting a debut there. Dotson misses out altogether after getting a knee injury in training. Some of my regular subs are shifted out. Flores, Gutierrez, Guerra and Sanchez no longer have their regular sub spots.  


We dominate from the off and after 27 minutes Alvarez heads in a Nava cross for a deserved 1-0. “Don’t get complacent” I say at HT and they promptly concede. Oh wait, there’s VAR in this league! It’s offside. Nice. We break and Alvarez makes it 2-0. I was expecting him to set them up but instead he’s smashing them in. Alvarez turns in a corner, flicked on by BIG JEFF GOMEZ, and it’s a debut hattrick!  


Final Score: 3-0 Dorados 


Maria Chan and her 42 mates look like dicks now.  



What are my title odds now bitch? 



July 25, 2026 


Caro is back from suspension. Muyl comes in at right back. Diaz plays in goal with Lopez out for a couple of weeks injured. This is the shaky second week in Liga MX and we get outplayed. Carlos Eduardo opens the scoring for the home side. However we’re back in first half stoppage time courtesy of a sensational lob from Agustin Alvarez. How is his finishing only 11? We almost steal three points when Abelando hits the post in injury time. He ends up on a 6.4 because of that, and a couple of other misses. It’s a big step up.  


Final Score: 1-1 


August 1, 2026 


We lost 1-0. I don’t want to talk about it. 




You know, my level of frustration with this save has peaked here. I want to do things with Dorados. That was the dream. I deliberately sought out that move. That’s the club I wanted. This “sign Ecuadorian players” bullshit has effectively put the entire save into jeopardy. Why Ecuador? There’s no Ecuadorian league that I can load up. There are very few Ecuadorian players, let alone good ones.  


Le sigh.  


So, I’m sat here evaluating my options and it seems fairly straightforward to me.  


  1. Man up, tough out a season in Dorados and see how high you can finish with this goddamn asshole Nunez making the calls.  
  2. Leave. Find another club. Continue the Journey. 
  3. Move onto another save. Come back later. Feel refreshed. Because there is a Glory Hunter save I was hoping to do… 



NEXT: Inter Milan (Glory Hunter begins!)  

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