With eMLS kicking off on Thursday, we sat down with Abe Valbuena, Orlando City's FIFA athlete, to discuss his starting XI for the tournament.
Walk-us through your thought process on your lineup.
I wanted to make sure I had the elite of the elite in my squad. So the inclusions of players like Messi and Ronaldo were a no brainer. But at the same time, I had to take chemistry into account. So to have everyone play at their full abilities, I had to have players of the same nationality or league play together. Chemistry was a huge factor when it came to my lineup.
Breakdown the inclusions of Powers and Allen? Why did you pick them specifically?
I played countless matches with players from Orlando City. Even though some favorites such as Yoshi or Spector were available; I felt that Powers and Allen really suited my play style. In the game, Powers is an all around midfielder with high work rate. Add his weak foot ability. He's the perfect FIFA midfielder. Allen is a powerful right back. In a game where strength and stamina are important, Allen thrives.
Editors Note: With the chemistry bonuses, both Powers and Allen's overall ratings are significantly increased.
Why does Opara standout above the other MLS CB options?
Opara is known as OP (a term used in the FIFA community to describe overpowered players). He's got blistering pace and is as physical as any other center back in the game. Pace is extremely important especially when you're facing the likes of Ronaldo and Bale. He is the perfect fit.
How important is chemistry when putting together your team?
Chemistry, for me, is the biggest factor in Ultimate Team. I think it truly affects the way your players play on the ball and off the ball. So it was really important for me to have 100 chemistry.
Who is the most dangerous player in your lineup?
Powers. He seems to be all over the pitch defending and attacking. I think people will really be surprised how well he performs.