Colorado Rapids using popular video game as scouting tool | SIDELINE

Padraig Smith

The Colorado Rapids have turned to a video game to help their scouting efforts.

Rapids sporting director Padraig Smith revealed in a Vice Sports article published on Wednesday that Colorado uses Football Manager as a scouting tool, utilizing the popular video game’s enormous player database to help with their due diligence when recruiting players to the club.

The Rapids use the Football Manager database – which features roughly 600,000 entries, most of which are player profiles containing 250 attributes each – in two different ways. Often, the club submits direct inquiries to Sports Interactive – the company that develops the game – for information. Other times, Smith will fire up the game and glance at the data himself.

“The number of leagues that are covered, the number of players that are covered, it really gives us a lot of information that can be slightly trickier to come by, and works as a nice starting point,” Smith told Vice Sports’ Brian Blickenstaff.

While Smith – who first started using Football Manager as a scouting tool during his time with the Irish Football Association – insisted to Blickenstaff that the Rapids would never sign a player exclusively off the strength of a Football Manager scouting report, it’s clear that the game’s database is a valuable tool, providing clubs around the world with a wide breadth of easily accessible information.

"One of the great things about the Football Manager database is the sheer breadth of the information that's in there," Smith said. “It provides another resource that would add to your due diligence reports.”