TORONTO — In the lead up to Sunday night’s MLS Cup here between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids, much of the talk is centering on the two coaches.
FCD’s Schellas Hyndman was named MLS Coach of the Year, and has been praised for outcoaching the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Bruce Arena in Dallas’ 3-0 thumping of LA in the Western Conference Championship.
Hyndman’s counterpart, Englishman Gary Smith, has moved under the radar, relatively, but he has guided the side past the 2008 MLS Cup winners, Columbus Crew, and this year’s darlings, the San Jose Earthquakes.
What could these two do playing the new Football Manager 2011?
Just released by Sega, the new version of Football Manager includes all the MLS teams.
New features for 2011 include the ability to train your team in specific areas ahead of a particular match. In other words, you can have New York’s Rafa Márquez work on his free kicks in preparation for a big match against the LA Galaxy.
There is also a big social media push in 2011. Players can publish their achievements in what the game calls the Manager’s Room, and also post results on various social networks. (Imagine Hyndman tweeting out about FCD’s win over LA: “It had to be the butter leather jacket!”)
Aside from the new features, the usual Football Manager stuff has been enhanced, including new stadiums, better match-experience graphics and the ability to take a player aside to motivate him.
That last bit would be easy for Hyndman and Smith, who are both master motivators. They’ve pushed their good players to be great, and conjured up incredible performances from their most modest players.
Now we’ll see if they can motivate them to a victory on Sunday.
Check back next week for MLSsoccer.com's full review of Football Manager 2011.