On Monday, the MLS announced a renewed agreement with EA Sports for the FIFA video game franchise.
The video game juggernaut recently released a statement confirming the continued relationship with MLS. FIFA will retain the exclusive rights to the league image rights, stadiums and players. As the franchise continues there are a few elements that need to be addressed.
Here is what we want to see from FIFA 18 and onwards regarding Major League Soccer?
1 – Increased MLS stadiums in-game
With offices located in the United States and Canada, the FIFA team is close enough to get to every MLS stadium throughout the year. Having actual stadiums gives the game a more realistic feel and rewards fans. Currently only the Seattle Sounders’ Century Link Field and the Vancouver Whitecaps’ BC Place Stadium are in the game. Which makes sense with those being the closest to the main office in Vancouver.
However, it has been a few years since those were added in the game and it is time that the team step up their game in that area. Even if they didn’t want to leave the west coast they could easily screen capture Portland, San Jose and the LA Galaxy. It is quite disappointing playing a ‘home’ match in a stadium that is generic.
— Liam Connery (@LiamCPFC) September 27, 2016
2 – Expansion teams with full drafts
This is more an issue with the game as a whole and not specific to MLS. However, it definitely applies with the ever expanding American league. Fans want the ability to create a new club, name it, pick the crest, colors and stadium. While moving a team up the league ladder in England is a dream scenario, the MLS is better setup to introduce this mode.
The creation of a new MLS team seems to be talked about on a monthly basis and the league has several draft mechanisms to support this. College drafts, expansion drafts, re-entry drafts – no league in the world does a draft better or helping stand up a new franchise. To address schedule imbalance, the newly created team could simply replace an existing MLS team of the player’s choosing.
— Jason Longshore (@Longshoe) October 18, 2016
3 – The NWSL
As stated a few weeks ago FIFA 17 is a big disappointment for the women’s game after inclusion in FIFA 16 for the first time. FIFA 17 saw two new national teams, a weak effort to expand that side of the game. While the MLS does not officially support the NWSL, their power, along with US Soccer, could heavily influence adding the league.
National team matches are only fun for so long, people want league play and titles to strive for. Outside of the WSL in England, the NWSL is the best choice, given the number of teams, proximity to the dev team’s headquarters and stadium sharing with MLS teams in several instances.
— MOBIPICKER.COM (@MOBIpicker) September 20, 2016
Those are just three areas that should be expanded within FIFA 18 and need to be brought up by the MLS and US Soccer. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comment section below what you think MLS should urge EA Sports to add to their leagues involvement in the series.