In less than two weeks, I, similar to other FC Cincinnati fans, will play FIFA20, the new EA Sports game that features – officially, for the first time – the Orange and Blue in the world’s biggest sports video game.
Considering the club hadn’t even played a game this time four years ago, this is hard to believe and surreal.
So, that was my first reaction when I saw the players’ ratings for the Orange and Blue. They’re really in FIFA.
But then came my next reaction: “Wow, some of these ratings are shockingly wrong!”
This isn’t a story to critique every rating and what those numbers should be. I’m not an expert and can’t speak to that.
What I can speak to, however, is after watching every minute this club’s played since preseason, some the ratings are inaccurate and don’t reflect the quality of certain players on the roster.
That said, I get it.
The worst team in MLS that’s on pace to concede more goals than any other in league history shouldn’t have glowing reviews, and I’m fine with that.
But in a season that’s seen collective struggle, we’ve also seen impressive moments from individuals.
Last Saturday night, Head Coach Ron Jans said Frankie Amaya was Cincinnati’s best player. That’s a glowing compliment for the 18-year-old, and even more so considering he hadn’t played since mid-July.
Yet, his 62 overall is tied for lowest for midfielders still on FCC’s active roster. That Caleb Stanko and Justin Hoyte have the same overall is also far too low and disrespectful to their 2019 production and potential.
Allan Cruz is arguably the team MVP and has played multiple positions, scoring five goals along the way. Emmanuel Ledesma, another valid team MVP candidate, has a team-high six goals and four assists. Yet, both only have 64 overalls.
When healthy, Greg Garza is one of the league’s top left backs. He’s listed at 70 overall. Andrew Gutman, who’s a promising option for both the club and potentially the national team, isn’t included on the club’s roster.
These might seem like little things (in the real world, yes, they are), but they don’t fully reflect the quality that is on FC Cincinnati’s roster, even if it’s not seen in the MLS Eastern Conference standings.
If there’s any consolation, it’s this: having the wrong overalls but being able to play with FCC is better than not having the team to play with at all.
Now, if EA Sports can just pull Nippert Stadium from NCAA Football 14 and drop it into FIFA ...