Monday, March 5, 2012

FIFA 12 Says... Crew 7th. Meram #1.

Work, work, work. It only makes it harder to simulate things with EAs FIFA soccer franchise now that we have an unbalanced schedule in Major League Soccer.

We are about 2/3rds of the way through the international soccer calendar. MLS is zero/thirds. As in; not started. What this means is that the +5 million people (and $300 mil+ with it) that have purchased the game are playing with outdated schedules and kits until the new game next fall.

Not all bad though. Rosters have been updated to the point of - well, as much as they can be with MLS right now. Why? The powers that control MLS keep it untimely and mushy.

Pile on incredible amounts of team attrition still going on and you have a perfectly, remarkably blurry picture that really diminishes this type of simulation.

It takes at least three separate custom tournaments in FIFA 12 to approximate the MLS schedule this year but I did it, gosh darn it. The results:

Rank : Team
1 : RSL
2 : LA Galaxy
3 : Sounders
4 : Toronto
5 : NY
6 : Houston
7 : DC United
8 : FC Dallas
9 : Sporting
10 : Chicago
11 : Columbus
12 : San Jose
13 : Whitecaps
14 : Chivas
15 : Colorado
16 : New England
17 : Portland
18 : Montreal*
19 : Philadelphia

That's the Crew finishing 7th in the East. 11th Overall.

There are a number of things that tell me to throw this sim out the window but lets play History Channel 2 here and RUN WITH IT.

It's very important for me to note that with Columbus I started the season with current injuries to key players (Hesmer, Meram, Balchan, James). I worked them in as the season went on. In other words, put on my best Warzycha hat.

Precise numbers aside. What did the simulation tell me about the Crew, as a team.

1. ~1.22 Goals per Game (1.26 last year). About the same, Low.
2. At that... Same goals against (1.28 vs. 1.29 last year).
3. Borderline playoff team.
4. All similar to last year.

In line with what "everyone" is settling into right now.

How about individual stats? I simulated it a few times with Columbus so as to be confident in how the game approaches players.

1. Justin Meram came out on top each time. 10 goals 3 assists in one simulation. I kept him on the bench at first but the game subbed him in a bunch. For Vargas here, Duka there... Then I just gave up and started him. Throw it out? or should he play more? Bottom line; Football Manager 12 likes him too. Video game superstar. Hoping real game Meram get's healthy soon.
2. Renteria, Heinemann, Vargas all topping the overall ratings around the 66. All about the same Goal and Assist Ratios too. Interchangeable forwards right now who seem to need a solid MF to be more productive in the game.
3. Mirosevic finishes with 27 games 4 goals and 5 assists.
4. Running the attack through Miro will stunt Gaven with 3-ish goals and 2-ish assists. If you play around with FIFA 12 you know that he could run the CAM role in the game and do more virtual damage than Miro.

Anyhow. That's just how this game see's things. Fun running the sims. It's pretty fast and easy to do.

I think the ranking above accurately portrays how the game thinks the teams will fair. It doesn't work so much for individuals. Still fun to look at so...

...I've posted the raw stats from it. LINK.

The real deal starts this weekend. Alright, already.

*I used Rochdale as a place holder for Montreal since le IMPACT aren't in FIFA 12.

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