Howdy folks! Welcome to this edition of the Upgrade, a new series tracking MLS players in EA SPORTS FIFA 17. Check out last week’s edition here. This week, we’re honing in on the stars who made their mark in Week Two.
Folks, I’ll level with you. It’s not always easy to sift through the numbers, pull out big-time performances, and formulate a coherent story line that connects the digital world to the realm of the flesh. But this week, there was one name that commanded the spotlight and made my job easy.
Tommy Mac, NYCFC
This is not a drill: NYCFC's Tommy McNamara got a four-point overall rating boost during this week’s round of roster updates. The man, the myth, the legend, the 26-year-old West Nyack Messi went from a 67 to a 71 in-game OVR rating over the course of one week. The best part? All EA did was change his position from LW to CAM.
That’s right — he was already that good! Just like we knew all along! The nature of this upgrade might seem like sleight of hand, given none of his skill ratings actually increased, but hey, we already knew he was a magician.
Not only is this positional change a nice boost to his in-game value for career mode purposes, but it’s also just a more realistic reflection of his real-world skill set. His strongest attributes are his short passing (71), positioning (74), and vision (70), which make for a very effective advanced central midfielder when paired with his well-documented shooting abilities.
If NYCFC move Designated Player Maxi Moralez to the wing as the season progresses, there will be a central midfield spot available for Tommy Mac. I expect him to make the most of that opportunity, and I expect upgrades to follow accordingly.
Bottom line: Tommy Mac is a hero and a scholar and he got some well-deserved justice.
But he wasn’t the only one who received a big upgrade.
Nick Lima and Tommy Thompson, San Jose Earthquakes
Thanks to his strong second half in a comeback victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, which he capped off by netting his first professional goal, Lima received a whopping 206 points of total skill upgrades.
His shot power and long shot ratings flew up by 30 points each, his finishing rating climbed 29 points, and his composure rating jumped 17 points. The future also looks a lot brighter for Lima after his POT jumped seven points as well. If he stays healthy, don’t be surprised to see him put together a season that rivals Keegan Rosenberry’s 2016 rookie campaign.
For those of you who are curious, his teammate Tommy Thompson also received a nice little boost as recognition for his defensive efforts early on this season.
Romell Quioto, Houston Dynamo
Houston ace Romell Quioto's second lights-out performance in a row netted him a two-point OVR upgrade. That's highlighted by a 17-point boost in his interceptions rating, as well as some little bumps in other mental categories. It was a tidy week for a player who looks to be on the way to a very tidy campaign.
David Guzman, Portland Timbers
Portland’s new destroyer David Guzman also snagged some handsome upgrades. He rounded out the week with a major boost to his skill set as a defensive midfielder. His long passing proficiency was rewarded with a five-point shove. His positioning also jumped from 53 to 63, and his vision, reactions, marking, and interceptions all gained four points each.
Guzman could see his stock explode this season both in real life and in FIFA 17. Much like Quioto, he entered the season as a relatively unknown quantity, and a string of consistent performances could boost his ratings significantly. You should be scared of Portland.
Derrick Jones, Philadelphia Union
Finally, Derrick Jones copped himself a nice little upgrade this week. If you’re counting, that makes me five-for-five on my predictions from last week’s Upgrade. Stick around, folks.