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.

2015 Review: #1 Liam Ridgewell

1 - Ridgewell

In his first season as the Portland Timbers’ captain, Liam Ridgewell led by example as he guided his side to their first ever MLS Cup success.

Skipper

After joining Portland halfway through their 2014 season, following his release from West Brom, Ridgewell was named as the club’s captain for the upcoming 2015 season.

Despite an upturn in form following the Englishman’s arrival in 2014, the season ended in disappointment for the Timbers as they finished outside the playoff spots.

Although the Timbers suffered a setback missing out on the playoffs that year, Ridgewell gained valuable experience in his new surroundings and that enabled him to set an exemplary example to his team-mates in the 2015 season.

Only two sides conceded less than the Timbers last year in regular season action and the former Birmingham City man had a large part to play in that.

The solid rearguard that the Timbers displayed, which Ridgewell helped to provide, saw the club finish third in the regular season, earning safe passage through to the MLS Cup playoffs.

However, the opening round of the playoffs was anything but safe. The Timbers narrowly defeated Sporting KC on penalties in a shootout where all 22 players took a penalty. Ridgewell calmly dispatched his strike from 12 yards during the mammoth shootout.

Two draws and three wins later, including a goal in the Western Conference final against Dallas, and Ridgewell was lifting the Timbers’ first ever MLS Cup in just their fifth season in the competition.

The 31-year-old finished the season with 37 appearances and also a goal to his name. He missed just three MLS matches all season.

The defender also featured in the CONCACAF Champions League and US Open Cup, although he was often rested in the cup competitions.


Ridgewell’s playoff goal against Dallas and the unusual celebration which followed…


Homeland

Despite being born in London, Ridgewell spent the entirety of his footballing career in England, prior to the move to the US, in the Midlands.

After leaving West Ham United as a youth player, the ex-England U21 defender went on to make nearly 350 appearances combined for the Midlands clubs Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom.

During his time with Birmingham, he won the League Cup in 2011, his only senior honour before joining the Timbers.

Since becoming a fans’ favourite in Portland, Ridgewell has twice returned to England during the off-season. He featured for Wigan Athletic last year and has just returned to the US after a spell with Championship promotion hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion.

2015 was an exceptional year for Ridgewell. He led by example and guided Portland to their first ever MLS Cup.

2016 will see the defender lead his team-mates through the challenge of retaining a trophy which has never been easy to win twice in a row. The Timbers will be relying on more consistently solid performances from Ridgewell if they are to be victorious again.

English in Action: Weekend 21-22 March

As he so often is, Bradley Wright-Phillips was the stand-out performer in a busy weekend for Englishmen abroad. The forward has carried his form over from last season as he bagged a goal and an assist to guide the New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United on Sunday. The 30-year-old showed a ice-cold composure to control and long ball and slot home before setting up his compatriot Lloyd Sam to wrap up the victory for the Red Bulls.

The New York duo were among eight Englishmen who featured in the MLS the past weekend. Featuring for the other team in the Big Apple, Manchester City loanee Shay Facey did not have the full debut he was dreaming of. The young defender picked up two yellow cards during the second half of New York City’s goalless draw with Colorado Rapids to earn career-first red card.

Elsewhere in the US, Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer and Portland Timbers’ Liam Ridgewell faced each other as their sides battled to a 0-0 draw, which was the same scoreline over in the match in New England where Nigel Reo-Coker featured for Montreal Impact. Seb Hines‘s Orlando City suffered their first MLS loss as they went down 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps and Giles Barnes and co. at Houston Dynamo secured an impressive draw away to last year’s champions LA Galaxy.

There were two other English players on the score-sheet across the globe. Adam Burnaby-Atkins‘ second goal of the season was enough to secure a 2-2 draw for Dender in the Belgian Third Division. The 19-year-old midfielder is in his first season in Belgium, having previously featured for DC United’s academy in America.

The other goalscorer was Saul Hapin of Hawke’s Bay United in New Zealand but his first half penalty was not enough to prevent a 2-1 loss at home to Team Wellington. English ‘keeper Josh Hill also featured for Hawke’s Bay.

Another appearance of note was Khurram Shazad, who debuted for Austrian third-tier side WSG Wattens. The young forward entered the game as 55th minute substitute and saw his side won 1-0 over bottom club Bizau. Shazad is a former US college student, having attended Young Harris College in Georgia.

In Slovakia, Trenčín went top of the Super Liga table after a 3-0 win over DAC. 22-year-old midfielder James Lawrence played the entire match, his 15th appearance of the season.

In the Singapore S. League, Craig Fagan is still looking for his first goal for Brunei-based side DPMM FC, as he made it three starts without registering a strike. However, Steve Kean’s DPMM did still manage a 2-2 draw with Home United.

Finally, Medy Elito played the last 16 minutes as VVV Venlo secured a late draw away to Fortuna Sittard. The result means Venlo remain just one point outside the play-off spots in Holland’s second tier.