Andrew Card

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Andrew Card was a defender on the Zwangzug national football team. With a playing career spanning the team's first era of competition, from the World Cup 33 Baptism of Fire through World Cup 42, Card was captain of the team during its second-place finish in the latter tournament, and played for Joseon FC at the domestic level. What he considered to be tactical innovation earned him a spot in the World Cup Hall of Fame.

A high school valedictorian, Card forewent college in favor of an early start with the national team. He quickly proved himself as offensive-minded for a right-back, scoring the only goal in a defeat of Dance 2 Revolution during the World Cup 33 qualifiers. A strategic rule-breaker who was nevertheless concerned for others when the need arose, Card tried to cut down on, or at least move farther forward for, his favored technical fouls after throwing the rules of football out the window prior to World Cup 35. Though it was up to Rube Tercer, then the captain, to hammer out the symmetric details, Zwangzug's new 3-5-3 formation was Card's brainchild.

Card was often uneasy about visiting some of the multiverse's stranger countries, but Daehanjeiguk was more appealing; he signed with Joseon after their first season of play, and they won the title in Season 3. Back in Zwangzug, however, things were uneasy in the clubhouse. While captains and coaches changed, he remained in true charge but was content to let others lead, so long as his formation was the order of the day. Defensive-minded players in a new generation weren't all for it, so Card urged the official team leaders to rely on veteran players rather than bring in new blood. Some dissenters got through anyway; they learned to expect being told to shut up, or risk clipboards flying at their heads.

Card's failed pass to Natalie Instonenext became an own goal for Zwangzug in the first knockout round of World Cup 39. Nevertheless, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame with the slot Zwangzug had earned for their first seven qualification attempts. His leadership had certainly forged the team, even if his playing ability was unspectacular. The urge to maintain control over the team, with possible help from Han time-dilation technology, drove him back for cup after cup.

By World Cup 42, Card was the last remaining competitor from the Baptism of Fire team, and named captain. Ironically, though, his real power would vanish as soon as he received symbolic power; Saena Mathash enigmatically talked her way on the team before Card could realize she was a goalkeeper. Frustrated, Card retreated from yelling at his teammates to focus on blasting the 1-4-4-2 and trying to encourage the team's newest member without giving false hope. Despite a rough start, Zwangzug eventually made the final. When Deuce Zadora launched a brilliant attack with minutes to play, Card committed one last tactical foul, grudgingly putting the game in Mathash's hands and walking off the field before he could be sent off.

The second act of his career was almost as surprising as the first; he declined a coaching position in Daehanjeiguk in favor of collaborating with Mathash on a rather long-range effort to develop football at the grassroots level in Zwangzug, so that subsequent generations would not be put off by the demolition of the national sporting headquarters. After many years, the unlikely partnership bore fruit with Zwangzug's return to the World Cup.