English Players Abroad on FIFA 17

The latest instalment of the FIFA franchise is well into full-swing now but with a new batch of players set to hit the consoles over Christmas, what better time to look at stats of the Englishmen abroad which feature on the latest edition.

full-teamThere are a total of 28 English players abroad on this year’s FIFA Ultimate Team. Five players, all from MLS, are not pictured here.

  • MLS: 15
  • Eredivisie: 3
  • Serie A: 2
  • Allsvenskan: 2
  • Belgian Pro League: 1
  • Austrian Bundesliga: 1
  • 2. Bundesliga: 1
  • Greek Super League: 1
  • J1 League: 1
  • A League: 1

Joe Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Hart’s move abroad would have came as a surprise before Pep Guardiola’s arrival and it means the England number one is the highest rated Englishman abroad on this year’s FIFA. Despite some high profile errors, the 29-year-old has started every game he has been available and has contributed to Torino’s good start to the season, losing just three of their first 13 games.

Osayamen OsaweOsayamen Osawe is the fastest player in this squad with a pace rating of 87. Having previously played in England for Accrington Stanley and Southport, the striker made the move to third tier German side Hallescher in 2014. Since then, he’s worked his way up to the second tier following a transfer to Kaiserslautern. The 23-year-old has made the step-up well and currently has seven goals in thirteen games since the move to the 2. Bundesliga club.

Hakeem ArabaSwedish club Falkenbergs’ striker Hakeem Araba is the squad’s strongest player with a strength stat of 94, making him one of the strongest players in the game. Weighing at over 100kg, it’s no wonder the former Bromley man is ranked so highly. After firing eight goals last year in his debut season in Sweden’s top tier, Araba has found this year much more harder going. His side finished rock-bottom in the Allsvenskan in 2016, amassing just two wins in year. Araba himself managed just one goal or season and his place on FIFA 18 is at risk now his side have suffered relegation.

Lewis BakerThe most improved player is Lewis Baker whose overall rating jumped from 68 on FIFA 16 to 74 on the current edition of the game. His first season of regular first team football as well as the five goals he scored, must have gone a long way to his impressive stats increase. The Chelsea loanee has become a integral part of the Vitesse team this season, scoring eight in fifteen games from midfield so far this year. Now in his second season with the Dutch side, Baker has also be amongst the goals for England U21s.

Jay BothroydJay Bothroyd has returned to FIFA after missing the three previous editions of the game. His latest appearance was on FIFA 13 where he appeared for QPR and Sheffield Wednesday. Bothroyd is enjoying the most prolific spell of his career in Japan with Júbilo Iwata. After firing twenty goals to guide his side to promotion last year, the former England international has 14 goals in 22 league games so far this season.

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2015 Review: #10 Hakeem Araba

10 - Araba

On the face of it, Hakeem Araba’s first season in Sweden seems mediocre at best. His side, Falkenberg, came third-bottom in the Allsvenskan and at one stage of the season, the English forward went thirteen matches without a goal.

However, from the end of April to the end of May, Araba scored in every game. Six matches yielded six goals.

Not quite Jamie Vardy territory but scoring in six consecutive matches is certainly no mean feat.

That run of games effectively prevented Falkenberg from being relegated. His six goals in six games single-handedly won his side an additional four points, the margin which is side finished above the relegation spots.


 


From 1:54, Araba is interviewed after his first goal for Falkenberg


 

Araba’s eight goals throughout the season secured a third-bottom finish, resulting in a play-off against second-tier side Sirius for the right to play Allsvenskan football in 2016.

The former Peterborugh United youngster only played a small part in the play-off, as his side earned an away goals victory, but his heroics during the season were enough for him to cerment a spot in our top 10.

24-year-old Londoner Araba was looking for more first team football after a disappointing six month spell with Greek Super League side Panthrakikos where he failed to score in seven appearances.

He had arrived in Greece with high hopes, having fired eight goals in his first season away from England the year before with Cypriot side AE Kouklion.


 


Araba starring for Cypriot side AE Kouklion


 

The move to Greece did not work out but a fresh start in Sweden was exactly what Araba needed and he repaid Falkenberg’s faith with eight goals in 19 starts.

Not bad for a striker who spent the majority of his career in England as a non-league footballer – a career which also incorporated a role in a move alongside Hollywood Walk of Famer Orlando Bloom. A teenage Araba starred in the film The Calcium Kid alongside the Lord of the Rings star.

At 190cm, the 24-year-old is not afraid to put himself about but his goals have come in several different ways since his move abroad.

Of course, he has been a useful asset for his sides at set pieces using his aerial prowess and also as a target man, the vocal point his team’s attacks but Araba has more to his game than that.

He is equally skilled at finishing, especially playing as a poacher. At least of a couple of his goals this season for Falkenberg were scored following up on a teammate’s strike.

At 24, Araba has already played for 14 different clubs but at Falkenberg, he has a base, somewhere he can grow. The club needs him if they are to survive relegation once more and he needs the club if his career overseas is to continue to impress.

2015 has been Araba’s best abroad to date. 2016 needs to see him maintain consistency throughout a season.

English in Action: Weekend 8-10 May

A busy weekend for Englishmen abroad saw some important contributions from the expatriates.

On Friday night in Austria, striker Gary Noel bagged a brace for his side First Vienna, as they defeated Donaufield 3-1 in the country’s third tier. It was the English forward’s sixth goal in eleven appearances since he made the move to Vienna in March.

On Saturday, newly-promoted PS Kemi Kings hosted their first game of the season against Haka. Starting up front was Billy Ions, now in his third season at the Finnish club. The former Newcastle United youth player scored his club’s third in a 3-2 win to secure back-to-back wins in the country’s second tier.

In Japan, ex-England international Jay Bothroyd failed to extend his scoring streak to four games but his side Júbilo Iwata still managed to defeat Mito HollyHock 2-1. The former Cardiff City striker has five goals in eight games since the move to Asia and his side currently sit top of J. League 2 after 13 games.

Over in America, there were impressive performances from a couple of Englishmen. First, midfielder Luke Mulholland fired home his second goal of the season to guide Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 away win over Chicago Fire. Then in Florida, Luke Boden provided the assist for Aurelien Collin’s 90th minute equaliser as Orlando City secured a late point at home to New England Revolution. Former Middlesbrough defender Seb Hines also played the full ninety for Orlando.

Sunday was a prolific day for England’s ex-pats, with no fewer than eight exiles on the score-sheets for their respective clubs.

In Belgium, John Bostock scored OH Leuven’s only goal of the game as they drew 1-1 with AS Eupen in the Second Division playoffs. After finishing fifth in the league, Bostock’s side are in a four-way battle to play Belgian Pro League football next season, with three teams from the Second Division competing with one from the top tier.

Former Walsall defender Netan Sansara opened the scoring as his side Fredrikstad secured a much-needed 3-1 win over Ranheim. Fredrikstad, now in their third season in Norway’s second tier, had started the season poorly, failing to win any of their first six games of the season but a goal from club captain Sansara helped secure maximum points for the first time on Sunday.

In Sweden’s top tier, Hakeem Araba continued his fine form, making it four goals in four games as he scored the only goal of the game to secure victory for Falkenberg over Halmstad. The English striker has now scored in four games in a row, having previously failed to find the net in his first four games of the season. The video below shows highlights of the match.

In the country’s second tier, Östersunds FK managed by former West Brom defender Graham Potter, secured a 2-1 away win over AFC United helped by a goal from Jamie Hopcutt. James Sinclair was an unused sub for Potter’s side.

In the MLS, it was the usual suspects making the headlines. Dom Dwyer‘s third goal of the season picked up a point for Sporting Kansas City who drew 1-1 away to DC United. Elsewhere, a brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips was enough to secure victory for Red Bulls over City in the first ever New York derby. Lloyd Sam was also involved, assisting Wright-Phillips’ first of the night.

Finally, in the NASL, the country’s second tier, goals from Tomi Ameobi and Ritchie Jones were not enough to prevent a 4-2 loss for FC Edmonton away to New York Cosmos, who had Spanish legend Raul on the score-sheet. The English pair now both have three goals each this season.

2015 Season Preview (April Edition)

A few weeks back now, I previewed the leagues which featured Englishmen which started in March. Well now it’s time for a preview of the leagues which start this month…

Finland: Veikkausliiga & Kakkonen
Opening match: 12th April & 24th April
This year, there are two Englishmen flying the flag in the Veikkausliiga (Finland’s top tier) and three in the Kakkonen (the country’s third tier). The nation’s second tier, the Ykkonen, begins next month.

Former Southampton youngster Josh Mulvany will be featuring in Finland’s premier division for the first time after his KTP side won promotion from the second tier last year after finishing as runners-up. When KTP travel to Lahti for the opening game of the season, Mulvany will complete a hat-trick of featuring in all of Finland’s top three tiers. Now in his fourth season in the country, the 26-year-old began his Scandanavian adventure with Kakkonen side Ekenäs IF in 2012, before moving to KTP where he played two seasons in the Ykkonen.

Elsewhere in the top division, former Fulham and Bristol Rovers midfielder Wayne Brown will be starting his fourth consecutive season in the country’s top tier as he prepares to represent SJK. Brown, who has seen league appearances limited in recent season, will be hoping his performances in the League Cup so far this year will earn him a starting spot in the first game of the season away to Inter Turku. The 26-year-old also has Europa League action to look forward to after SJK finished second last season.

The third division begins in three weeks time. The Kakkonen is split into four regional divisions, with the top team in each division entering the promotion play-offs, from which two teams can be promoted.

Squad lists have yet to be announced for the third tier but there is a strong possibility there could be several Englishmen plying their trade in the competition.

Norway: 1. Division
Opening match: 6th April
Norway’s top tier, the Eliteserien, also starts next Monday but only the second tier, 1. Division, features an Englishman. Netan Sansara will be starting his second season with Fredrikstad next week and it will be his first as captain, having been announced as the club’s skipper recently. The 25-year-old defender featured for Walsall in England before featuring for Cypriot side PAEEK and Danish side FC Vestsjælland and finally moving to Norway.

Last season, Fredrikstad reached the promotion play-offs but were knocked out at the semi-final stage. Sansara contributed three goals in 15 games from defence and will be hoping he can lead his team a stage further this year and gain promotion.

Sweden: AllsvenskanSuperettan & Division 1
Opening match: 4th April, 3rd April & 11th April
All three of Sweden’s top tiers are set to feature Englishmen this year. The top tier, the Allsvenskan, begins this weekend and will feature three expatriates. One of those is legendary Brit abroad Kenny Pavey, who has played in Sweden since 1998. One of the few Englishmen to have successful carved an entire career abroad, the left winger/wingback will be featuring for AIK again this year.

At the opposite end of the scale though are Lloyd Saxton and Hakeem Araba, who will both be undertaking their first seasons in Sweden with GIF Sundsvall and Falkenberg respectively. Goalkeeper Saxton moves to the country have previously played in his homeland for Bradford City, whilst forward Araba attempts to settle in a new country once again after spells in Cyprus and Greece.

There are three more ex-pats in second tier. 22-year-old Jamie Hopcutt will be hoping to match his tally of nine goals from last season as he features for Östersunds FK, where he’s joined by former Bolton defender James Sinclair, who secured a move from Ljungskile. Finally, Kieron Cadogan will begin his first full season at GAIS, having joined partway through last season from Barnet.

The country’s third tier is split into north and south divisions, with the top team in each earning promotion plus an additional promotion spot up for grabs between the two second place teams. There are currently five Englishmen registered to feature in Division 1, which starts a week after the other two tiers. They included former Forest Green Rovers defender James Baldwin, who has dropped down a tier to join IFK Luleå from Östersunds FK and ex-Northampton Town midfielder Ryan Gilligan, who begins his fifth season in Sweden with new club Umeå.

USA: North American Soccer League (NASL)
Opening match: 5th April
Following the start of the other professional domestic leagues, the MLS and USL, the NASL begins this weekend along with its two English players.

26-year-old midfielder Mark Anderson will be starting his fourth season in the States but at a new side. After three seasons with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who he guided to the Championship Final last year, Anderson will be featuring for the Carolina RailHawks this season.

Elsewhere, 25-year-old Paul Black will be competing in his first ever season in the States. The defender joins the Atlanta Silverbacks after seven seasons in the English game with Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, Carlise United and most recently, Cheltenham Town.

There are also some divisions which begin in May. There will be a preview for them too.

English in action: 8th December

Michael Felgate

Cyprus: Ayia Napa 0-0 Ethnikos Achna (1. Division)
Two sides in the bottom half of Cyprus’ top division faced each other as Ayia Napa hosted Ethnikos Achna.

English defender Michael Felgate was in the starting line-up for the hosts, who were looking for their first win in four.

The points were shared in the end though, as Felgate played the full match as the game ended goalless.

English midfielder Krasniqi Kreshnic was an unused substitute for Ethnikos Achna.

Greece: Panathrakikos 0-0 Ergotelis (Super League)

Hakeem Araba after signing for Panthrakikos.

To the Greek Super League now, as another Englishman was involved in a goalless draw.

Two teams in the league’s bottom three took on each other but in the end, the result suited neither side as Panathrakikos and Ergotelis played out a stalemate.

English forward Hakeem Araba was an 85th minute substitute for the hosts. He was making his fifth sub appearance of the season since his summer move from Cypriot side AE Kouklion.

English in action: 3rd December

Belgium: Zulte Waregem 2-1 (AET) Lierse (Belgian Cup)

Aneke celebrating his goal.


Both Zulte-Waregem and Lierse are in the bottom three of Belgium’s Pro League so the last 16 of the national cup offered a welcome distraction for both sides.

Starting for the hosts was former Arsenal attacking-midfielder Chuks Aneke, and he gave his side the perfect start with a goal in the fourth minute. It was the Englishman’s third goal of the season.

The 21-year-old was later substituted in the 86th minute as the game headed into extra time. Waregem managed to secure passage into the next round of the cup with a goal in the second half of extra time.

Greece: Panthrakikos 1-0 Platanias (Super League)
To Greece, where two Englishmen faced each other in the country’s top tier.

Both Panathrakikos’ Hakeem Araba and Platanias’ Walter Figueira started on the bench for their respective sides.

The hosts took the lead in the 17th minute and the scoreline was unchanged when the English duo entered the action. First, Araba made his way onto the pitch in the 79th minute and then four minutes later, former Chelsea forward Figueira joined him.

Neither of the pair managed to stamp their mark on the match as it ended 1-0.

India: Pune City 2-0 Mumbai City (Indian Super League)

Jermaine Pennant in action in this year’s Indian Super League.

Jermaine Pennant was once again in his side’s starting line-up as Pune City hosted Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.

A second half brace from Nigerian forward Dudu was enough to secure victory for Pennant’s Pune, as the English winger was substituted in the 70th minute. The former Stoke City man has now only completed 90 minutes in one of his five starts.

Portugal: Chaves 3-0 Beira-Mar (Segunda Liga)

After four substitute appearances, English defender Peter Gregory made his first start for Portuguese side Beira-Mer as they travelled to Chaves for a Segunda Liga clash.

The 22-year-old, who featured for Portsmouth in the Championship four years ago, played 76 minutes before being replaced, with his side already two goals down.

With Gregory off the pitch, his side conceded another goal as they lost 3-0.