Welcome to this edition of the Upgrade, a series tracking MLS players in EA SPORTS FIFA 17. You can check out the previous installment here.
All right, let’s start this off with a brutal dose of honesty. There were no huge ratings jumps this week, like the ones with which we’ve been spoiled over the past few rounds of MLS action. It's just as well, since part of this game is learning how to take the good with the bad.
But even though there were no blockbuster moves up or down the ladder this week, plenty of your (and my) favorite players got some tidy little boosts to their game after last week. Ready to run through the highlights?
Y’all saw his goal this weekend, right? It was extremely nice. For his troubles, EA granted the Portland Timbers' Darlington Nagbe a two-point boost in finishing (up to 60), ball control (76), and long shots (65), and a one-point composure bump (78). That’s all well and good, but his shot power stayed put at 75. I’ve got a problem or two with that.
I will ask again: y’all saw his goal this weekend, right? This man hit a fadeaway laser far-post off the crossbar, and in from outside the box, after a zig-zagging run through Vancouver’s defense.
And that’s not all! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every time Nagbe scores, it’s a banger. The man simply does not score ordinary goals, because he’s not an ordinary player, and he most certainly does not have just ordinary power behind him when he lets fly. At least bump him up to an 80!
Somehow, Nagbe’s overall rating is still just 74, making him probably the most underrated player in the league in FIFA 17.
I’ve stanned for this guy since I started paying close attention at the beginning of the year, and ever since then, he’s been a player on the rise. With three goals in three starts on just eight total shots, the Houston Dynamo's Romell Quioto has been the picture of consistency. Barring the untimely injury which set him back a couple of weeks, I’d wager that he’d still be hovering around that same G/90 ratio.
He came into the league with a 64 OVA, and after this week’s boost, he’s up to a 70 OVA with a 75 POT. A five-point dribbling boost (up to 67), a seven-point vision boost (55), and a seven-point reactions boost (63) are all signs that his consistency as a dynamic threat is being noticed and rewarded.
In real life, I’m going to go ahead and predict that his numbers will keep pace with, and maybe exceed those of the more heralded teammate Alberth Elis until at least July. If that happens, I’m thinking we see Quioto around a 74 OVA in-game by the end of the summer.
Is he an MVP candidate in the league? That’s what Matt Doyle thinks. But this is about video games, so I’m not sure how much water that carries in this context.
Anyway, FC Dallas' Kellyn Acosta got a nice little upgrade this week, too. His OVA climbed up one rung to 71 thanks to upgrades in crossing, finishing, vision, positioning, composure, and shot power. Those are great upgrades to have in your toolbox as a central midfielder who spends so much time in dangerous spots in the attacking half. This season, he’s made the most of his time spent in those positions, and he’s being rewarded for it this week in-game.
With the week in, week out accolades Acosta is earning around MLS, and his increasingly consistent appearances in the USMNT, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t continue to improve on his game throughout the season. From the looks of things, he’s primed for a Gold Cup spot this summer, which could easily translate into a nice, big upgrade.
Time will tell if he’s the USMNT No. 8 of the future, but he’s definitely the man of the moment in Dallas.