McPsychoville national football team
The McPsychovillian national football team represents both the nations of McPsychoville and McPsychoville’s military protectorate of Novistrana in international football competitions; both worldwide - such as the phenomenally successful World Cup - and regional - the AHP Tournament, better known by its moniker of the Tom Campbell Trophy. Like all other teams within the two nations, it is controlled by the McPsychovillian Football Union (hereafter abbreviated to MFU). Yet to achieve any success on a worldwide scale - being eliminated in the qualifying rounds of both World Cups 27 and 28 - the team are the current holders of the Tom Campbell Trophy, winning the competition three years in a row.
With the surprising dismissal of then-coach Serik Leshko, the team was in disarray. Leshko’s replacement, Reece Perry, had less than two weeks to gel with the team, but in the evidence of the dismal qualifying is enough to show any viewer that he failed. Unranked before the tournament proper began, due to their non-participation in the Baptism of Fire tournament, the Minutemen earned just ten points from twelve games; three victories and a draw, all of which occurred against similarly unranked teams Race City and Artoonia. This tournament did, however, see the birth of the tactics informally known as ‘Strong Style’, and with seventeen goals from their matches, it seemed to help. Young striker Gabriel Price was propelled into the limelight with eight of the seventeen goals scored, despite having a less than pleasant domestic season, while Michel Lysiak built on his growing expertise with free kicks by contributing a further five to the cause.
Under the guidance of coach Michael ‘Nate’ Webb, the Minutemen went into the 27th World Cup with hopes significantly higher than before. Ranked at 119 in the world by the KPB ranking system and drawn in a group with Hockey Canada and Majeristan, among others, the prediction of sixth place - while not something any fans wanted to believe - looked likely. And sixth was where they finished - despite recording a final-day victory over Kaze Progressa, which ended the veteran nation’s chances of making the playoffs, earlier results went against them. The aforementioned Price was injured badly in the closing stages of his season with London FC, and so missed out, but this gave Wade Matvichuk the chance to step up and shine, scoring nine of the team’s eighteen goals.
Matchday 1 - Majeristan 1-0 McPsychoville
Matchday 2 - Imperial Moose 1-3 McPsychoville
Matchday 3 - McPsychoville 3-1 Magnus Valerius
Matchday 4 - McPsychoville 1-3 Casari
Matchday 5 - Harlesburg 2-0 McPsychoville
Matchday 6 - Bye
Matchday 7 - McPsychoville 0-0 Crna Gora Liv Eng
Matchday 8 - McPsychoville 0-1 Hockey Canada
Matchday 9 - Kaze Progressa 2-0 McPsychoville
Matchday 10 - McPsychoville 1-1 Majeristan
Matchday 11 - McPsychoville 3-0 Imperial Moose
Matchday 12 - Magnus Valerius 0-1 McPsychoville
Matchday 13 - Casari 2-1 McPsychoville
Matchday 14 - McPsychoville 0-3 Harlesburg
Matchday 15 - Bye
Matchday 16 - Crna Gora Liv Eng 1-1 McPsychoville
Matchday 17 - Hockey Canada 2-1 McPsychoville
Matchday 18 - McPsychoville 3-1 Kaze Progressa
Cup of Harmony 27
Despite the cries for Webb’s head growing ever louder, the coach kept the team on a steady keel for the Cup of Harmony. Early on, it looked very like they’d fall at the very first hurdle, Majeristan beating them 2-0 and Giant Zucchini holding them to a 1-1 draw. However, thanks to Spaamanian Plijous’ defeat of Majeristan, qualification was still a possibility, and in a dramatic final matchday, a 2-1 victory over Plijous, coupled with Giant Zucchini defeating Majeristan 5-3, lifted McPsychoville into second and qualifying. From there on, things went a lot smoother - the Round of 16 defeat of Magnus Valerius (see below) was then followed by a 3-0 victory over Dance 2 Revolution in the quarter-finals. Despite their far higher rank, Cuation fell 4-3 in the semi-finals, and like the proverbial juggernaut, the Psychos’ momentum was too much for Wentland to overcome. In their first Cup of Harmony, the Psychos defeated Wentland 7-3 to capture their first piece of silverware.
Like most nations, McPsychoville has one national stadium - namely, the Mark LeMaitre Stadium in Carson City. Shared by a number of McPsychoville’s other national teams - most notably, the Predators of gridiron - the stadium has been the home of the Minutemen since 1989, when the MFU decided the ‘travelling circus’ approach of using stadiums throughout the nation as opposed to a single one simply was not feasible any more.
In keeping with the nation’s blue and white national colours, the team’s home kit consists of a blue and white hooped shirt, blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks. For away games, the team plays in a red and black vertically striped shirt, red shorts and black socks. Previously, the kits are made by a domestic firm, DH Clothing, but the MFU recently agreed to terms with Starblaydi firm Ediraf to supply the team’s World Cup 28 kits, which can be seen below.
While the Kaze Progressans will undoubtedly be less than cordial towards McPsychoville in the future - after the team ended Kaze Progressa’s hopes of qualification with the dramatic final day victory - they have yet to cultivate any serious international relationships. However, the MFU were recently accepted into the World Cup Committee, and it is hoped this will induce improved relations with other nations taking part in the World Cup for the future. Of particular note are the diplomatic relations with Novistrana; like many protectorate nations, the calls for Novistranan independence are there, and have been growing of late. If this continues, it is likely Novistranan players will be banned from being part of the team.
Drawn together in the same World Cup 27 group, the McPsychovillians defeated the Boyars twice, 3-1 at home then 1-0 in the return fixture. As they were unranked before the tournament, the victories over the Boyars were not seen as anything special; however, the Magnus Valerian representatives did not see it as so, and have recently been promoting the McPsychovillians as fierce rivals. The pre-Cup of Harmony friendly match the teams played did nothing to disabuse this view, as the two teams fought one another to a 3-3 draw.
After their respective CoH qualifying campaigns, both teams went forward into the knockout stages of the tournament where, in a twist of fortune worthy of the Fates themselves, they were paired together once again. Unlike two of the previous matches, the match was once again settled by a single goal. And like two of the other three matches, the victory belonged to the McPsychovillians; the one goal came from Novistranan playmaker Daniel Sabin in the seventy-eighth minute, instantly turning him into a national hero. Such is the allure of the 'Sport of Kings'.