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Team Canada: 2022 World Cup Special

Hello everyone and welcome back to the last ever episode of my Football Manager 2012 story. As you may remember this current save started 11 seasons ago as I took over the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS, had a short stint with Sydney FC and ended my domestic career with Toronto FC before taking over Team Canada who now have qualified for the 2022 World Cup. So we begin this last update at the end of 2021….

November 2021

Following the qualification to the World Cup we had two more games remaining on the international fixture list before the year was over. We travelled down to the islands for what should have been a straightforward outing but after comfortably beating Montserrat we crashed to St.Vincents, in what was a humiliating defeat.

That result underpins the whole problem with the Canadian side – inconsistency, which we’ve never been able to overcome.

As an aside here’s how the MLS ended up in 2021 which is now dominated by American teams once more.

The beginning of December meant a trip to Qatar for the World Cup Finals draw which saw us in Pot # 4 and when all said and done we ended up Group E with a monumental task ahead of us.

All I can possibly hope for is maybe a draw against either Scotland or Ghana though I’m expecting crushing defeat at the hands of Brazil.

Next order of business was to arrange some pre-tournament friendlies which along with the backroom staff we managed to secure games with Peru, Ivory Coast and the Republic of Ireland which will give us a taste of each of the continents represented in our group. At the last minute Kuwait accepted an offer so we can get acclimatized to desert football.

2022: World Cup Year

The first few months of 2022 were relatively quiet until early April when I received the news that all international mangers dread and that was the news of an injury to star player Joshua Galloway who broke his ankle whilst playing for his club side.

This is a massive set-back to my World Cup plans.

May 2022

Pre-Tournament Friendlies

Our first game was in Montreal against Peru and after an early scare we took the lead through Giacomo Nardini whose curling shot form 25 yards out sweetly beat the keeper. Looking good for much of the second half we got caught out by a quickly taken free quick for Peru to equalize. Russ Tiebert could have won the game but missed from 7 yards out with just the keeper to beat.

No sooner had the game finished FIFA wanted my 23 man squad list so the 30 I had picked for friendlies had to be reduced.

**Bruno Gauss will play in the AMC (Inside Forward) position in a no forward offence.

My final home game in Canada saw us take a thrashing by an energetic and much more skilful Ivory Coast who deserved far more than the three goals they scored. Then ran us ragged for much of the game and we were lucky to get a consolation goal.

June 2022

Our first stop on route to Qatar was in Ireland where after conceding two early goals we fought back to tie the game up thanks to a brace by Russ Tiebert before half time. After the interval we totally fell apart with Ireland dominating possession and scoring four second half goals for a demoralizing defeat.

The last pre-tournament friendly was in Kuwait to get a taste of desert conditions which we found difficult as the heat was intense. We went ahead through a cracking shot by Edward Acevedo though Kuwait soon pulled one back. We snatched the win late in the game as Kuwait under much pressure scored an own goal.

World Cup Finals: Qatar 2022

Group E – Ghana

Khalifa International Stadium

It was a proud moment as we walked out onto the field representing Canada for the first time in nearly 40 years at the finals. A rousing rendition of our national anthem “Oh Canada” got the adrenaline pumping and away we went to kick off….

We put pressure on the Ghanaians early on with both Acevedo and Hoilett both going close. Ghana had their chances hitting the woodwork twice but for the most part their attacks were broken down by a fantastic effort from anchorman Gershon Koffie who would later get substituted having become totally exhausted.

Into the second half with the temperature at a tolerable 22C Ghana launched an attack but was broken down by right back Ian Moore who launched the ball forward to Hoilett whose quick thinking immediately squared the ball into the box and there was Verbeek to slide the ball home……1-0!!! Canada’s first ever goal at a World Cup. We’d hardly finished celebrating as Ghana quickly stormed our left flank and it was 1-1 just like that. Andrew Straith would have a header cleared off the line in the 72nd minute but I was delighted that the lads had fought the way they did and got a point.

Next was the biggest game of my managerial career…..Brazil.

**Authors Note**

This may seem hard to believe but in all my time playing CM or FM I’ve never played against a major team such as Brazil, Argentina , Spain so some definite excitement for me.

Group E – Brazil

Lusail Iconic Stadium

Unexpectedly the Brazilians got off to a nervous start which gifted two early opportunities for Edwards Acevedo whose first shot went over the bar and the second slipped under the keeper and clipped the outside of the post. The Samba beat soon got into its rhythm and from a dead ball situation a curling free kick was bundled over the line by Sandro for the opening goal after 24 minutes. That lead was doubled before half time as Neymar beat four Canadians before placing his shot past the sprawling Edson to make it 2-0.

We gave a good account of ourselves in the second half stifling the Brazilian play but never managed to create anything ourselves. The game quickly fizzled out and a 2-0 defeat is nothing to be ashamed of against these world giants of football.

In the other game Ghana drew with Scotland which meant if we could beat the Scots in our last group game and Ghana either tie or lose to Brazil we’d be through to the last sixteen!

Group E – Scotland

Al-Khor Stadium

In the blistering heat Scotland got the game underway and for the opening 15 minutes caused all kinds of havoc with our defence with the best chance of a header going over the bar. Koffie and Lewis both made some surging runs forward but their end ball to either Acevedo or Hoilett was wasted by the front men. We picked up a couple of bookings before the half as Scotland pressured our end of the field with Makubuya pulling off some fine saves from the free kicks.

Early in the second half and another through ball to Hoilett though this time he rounded the keeper but missed an open goal hitting the side netting. The game then deteriorated into a midfield battle with neither side getting close to creating a solid chance. A slight change in tactic saw Verbeek move into the midfield for Cordon with Tiebert out on the left. Soon afterwards Verbeek made a darting run forward slipped the ball into the area to Hoilett who was brought down by McAllister…..PENALTY!!

Up steps Russell Tiebert and completely miss-kicks the ball which rolls harmlessly towards the Scottish keeper, the pressure obviously being too much for him. Although deflated by that miss we still managed to create chances and contain Scotland’s attacks. With 90 minutes gone and into injury time we made one last desperate surge to the Scottish goal…




Verbeek moves forward, lays the ball out wide to Tiebert who easily beats the right back, reaches the byline and cuts back inside his pass finds Hoilett who is suddenly all alone and slides the ball under the diving keeper and …………..hits the inside of the post – the ball rebounding back into the safety of the arms of the Scottish keeper. The whistle blows and with Ghana getting a draw against Brazil our World Cup was over.

So near and yet so far, it was hard enough to console myself let alone the players. Back in the dressing room it was a case of what might have been but we could still hold our heads up high having qualified from our continental section and only losing to Brazil in the finals so there’s no shame in that.

Final Group E Table

** Authors Note**

The reality of those three games  especially the Scottish one saw me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and having forgot to take my high blood presure pills for two days I almost had a heart attack in my own living room but thankfully some Aspirin quickly acted as a blood thinner. Wow!

World Cup: Round 2

We would have probably been hammered by Portugal :)

Quarter Finals & Beyond

So Italy ended up winning the World Cup against Egypt, an African team finally making a final.

On returning back to Canada I handed in my resignation having achieved more than what I initially set out to do.

Kevin’s CV Vancouver to Team Canada

A few days after resigning my position of Head Coach I also announced my retirement from football.

**Authors Note**

In fact I’m also annoucing my retirement from Football Manager and at least an active contributor to Football Manager Stories. As of now I don’t have any plans on purchasing FM 2013 ( it’s naughty to download a pirate copy) which means obviously no more stories. It’s time to get back to the real world and the responsibilites that come when you reach 50. You will find out sooner or later :)

Thankyou one and all for your continuing support over what is nearly 3 years with FMS which started with Johnny inviting me as the first guest writer  having read my Swindon Town story which we transferred over to FMS. What a privilege to be the first.

As I was born in Wiltshire, Swindon had to be the first story so it’s fitting then my last story is Team Canada where I’ve made my home for the last 20 years.

An honourable mention to Darren, Ana, Laxeyman, Sears, Lye and more recently Ziggy, Bhargav saltwater and CsAtlantis. Stromson, I know you are reading this from down in The State of Virginia. Sorry if I ‘ve missed anyone…

Of course I couldn’t end without mentioning Johnny Karp, Football Manager mentor, the voice of reason when my dad was dying of cancer and most of all a great friend even though there are thousands of miles between us.

I will still visit FMS and leave comments as well as visiting other sites too. If you want to keep in touch here are my email accounts. The work, that is the second one is the best bet.

And with that take care and God Bless


(or is it?) 




  1. Darren Smith

    September 18, 2012 at 11:56

    Well done Kevin, that was the perfect end to your FMS story writing adventure…to score Canada’s only goals in a World Cup is sensational and truly legendary not to mention you were so close to reaching the knockouts that you were close to ill health :) Fantastic stuff and you have been a joy to have around, I will miss your stories and of course your kind hearted nature, but hopefully we will never lose that. I hope you can get stuck into real life and we’ll see you around no doubt.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:32

      Hi Darren
      Thanks very much for those kind words. It was a bit of a heartbreak at the end there but hey that’s what happens in World Cups!
      It’s been an absolute pleasure providing content for the site but I need a break though you never no I may…..

      • Darren Smith

        September 18, 2012 at 20:48

        haha you’re such a tease!

        • Kevin

          September 18, 2012 at 21:20

          007 Never Say Never Again…

  2. TheZiggy

    September 18, 2012 at 12:38

    Sometimes it really feels like the game has it in for you, when you miss chances like you did against Scotland. I’m not surprised you nearly had a heart-attack with the way that match went. You really should have beaten them, and as a Queens Park Rangers fan, I hope Hoilett doesn’t go around wasting chances like that too often.

    A shame to see you call an end to your time of writing stories, but maybe in the coming months you’ll start to get withdrawal symptoms. :D You’ve certainly given us plenty of entertainment with your stories.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:34

      Hi Ziggy
      To be homest it did feel like the game knew what my intentions were and decided to screw me. The AI can’t be that smart ….can it?
      Glad you have liked my stories and thanks for all the support.

  3. Johnny Karp

    September 18, 2012 at 12:47

    A legendary finale to a legendary managerial career, losing only to Brazil at the World Cup is a massive achievement. I’m sure we’ll remain friends and that makes me very happy. Take care mate.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:36

      Hi Johnny
      I will definitely keep up my end of the frienship and feel free to bounve things of of me now and again. Thanks for all you have done to get me this far.

  4. Miles Smith

    September 18, 2012 at 14:41

    Are we now taking bets on which month Kevin will purchase FM2013? £10 on January.

    • Johnny Karp

      September 18, 2012 at 14:50

      Haha, I’d bet on December :)

      • Kevin

        September 18, 2012 at 16:41

        You know me too well!!

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:39

      I’ve already pre-ordered with Steam this afternoon :)

      • TheZiggy

        September 18, 2012 at 21:22

        :D I was going to put that I bet it would be whatever month the game is released, but you put this here before I could do it, so I can’t even prove it. Damn you Kevin for being quick. lol

        I didn’t expect you to give in so quickly. I haven’t even pre-ordered it yet, and I’ll definitely be buying it.

        • Kevin

          September 18, 2012 at 23:52

          Ah, I’m just pulling your leg mate…having a last bit of fun :)

          • TheZiggy

            September 19, 2012 at 19:27

            We’ll see how long you can resist. ;)

  5. Niels Theis Bendtsen

    September 18, 2012 at 14:52

    I have really enjoyed reading your story although commenting have not been my strong side. It is simply amazing how well you have done both for Canada and your clubs as well.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:47

      Thanks Niels

      …and for leaving a comment this time around. Much appreciated

  6. Gaurav Chaddah

    September 18, 2012 at 15:42

    I’m actually close to tears! Kevin, I have loved you stories this year mate, you really bring a different thing to this site and love your style of writing and just you overall are a legend! You have really inspired me and you always know what help to give when I have been talking to you by e-mail, you’re a utter legend! Even though you finished bottom, you still did yourself proud to taking Canada to the World Cup and good luck in your real life responsibilities but I hope you get bored and decide to purchase the new game, what happened to you doing that story about day to day life? :)

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:50

      Hi Gaurav
      First off, you know how to get hold of me so feel free to do so at any time, just remember there’s a time difference between us :)

      I’m not sure about being a legend – that’s a wonderful compliment so thankyou. i’m glad i was able to help and inspire you and who knows I may well do that day to day story?

      Thanks for all your support.

  7. saltwater

    September 18, 2012 at 17:29

    It’ll be to much to lose both you and Ana, as far as I’m concerned there is no FMS without you guys. I’ll miss the excitement I had when I see a new Vancouver (or whatever) post, which always contained humor, excitement, and quaaaaality writing. I did enjoy your different style of writing which brought something different to the main site. In fact I had been an avid reader of this website and your brilliant story made me comment for the first time, and I haven’t looked back :). Hopefully FM13 will tempt you back into the addiction, and if not, why not have a swing at Classic mode, I’m sure it could still give what you need and plenty of free time :)
    If this was your last post, you going out like a legend. Great suspenseful story! Forget your heart, mine was out of it’s socket – but due to the circumstances I won’t be pressing charges :D. The Scotland game was desperately unlucky, you could only imagine the pandemonium from the Canadian fans had Hoilett’s attempt go in. And what a fairytale end that would have been for you.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 20:56


      To be honest when I was writing the end of the post your name was constantly on my mind as you’ve always been my biggest fan that’s for sure so knew I maybe affecting some readers in a negative way. Still, everything has a season in life which includes Football Manager I’m afraid.
      That’s some good advice about the Classic mode so you never know… As for the Canadians we were so unlucky and what an ending that would have been to reach the last 16. Thanks for all your support and feel free to drop me a line…

  8. vaibhavc

    September 18, 2012 at 17:53

    Kevinm, this site will not be the same without you! You were there when I first started going on the site, and now that you are leaving it wont be the same. Hopefully FM 13 will tempt you back and try and get you back on the site! Your world cup run was so unlucky, a missed penalty and hitting the post in the dying minutes.

    • Kevin

      September 18, 2012 at 21:25

      Hi vaibhavc
      Thanks for this very kind message, I’m sure the site will remain strong though perhaps more so in the forums, depending on what you are looking for.
      As for my World Cup dreams,well they were just that but I wouldn’t change a thing to the way my FM / FMS career ended.

  9. Bhargav

    September 18, 2012 at 22:49

    I cannot believe that this may be the end. Your stories have always been so entertaining and I absolutely love your writing style; I don’t think anyone else has the same perfect blend of detail and conciseness when going over a season. I understand that real life responsibilities take precedence but this community will certainly be worse off without your contribution. Thank you for countless hours of entertainment and good luck!

    • Kevin

      September 19, 2012 at 00:00

      Yes, I’m afraid it is, aside from personal responsibility, work – I’m in financial services is creeping more and more into my own time so the juggling of activites is quite a strain.

      I’m just delighted that you have enjoyed my stories and my different style of writing and it gives me great plasure knowing I’ve provided some entertainment to others.

  10. Lye

    September 19, 2012 at 02:49

    Unlucky not to beat Scotland in the last game but i thought you really have a good campaign. Your team has done well except for the loss against Brazil but that is Brazil we are talking about.

    I have heard you mentioned about taking a break from FM but still feel sad when you finally made the announcement. It’s been a lengthy two years plus since we know each other. Thanks for all the wonderful stories you have brought us and i am keeping my fingers cross we will read another story from you. If not FM13, we’ll wait for you in FM14:) Keep in touch mate.

    • Kevin

      September 19, 2012 at 08:51

      Hello Lye
      I was really pleased how we played in the finals and that was so unfortunate against Scotland. Glad you liked my stories and of ourse we will keep in touch!

  11. George Boris Dobson

    September 20, 2012 at 23:11

    Really unlucky against Scotland Kevin but still very well done a real shame to see you no longer writing but good luck in the real world :) and I hope you are writing again soon.

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