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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English in Action: March 2016

The main talking points from last month…

New beginnings
March saw several leagues across the globe begin their 2016 seasons. Two of those leagues were MLS and J1 League in America and Japan respectively.

Firstly, Jay Bothroyd has made a dream start in Japan’s top tier. After finishing as the J2 top scorer last season, the former Cardiff City man has made the step-up with newly-promoted Júbilo Iwata look easy. In his first three matches of the season, the 33-year has already notched four goals. His early season goal-scoring exploits have made him an early leader in the goalscoring charts.

Over in the US, no fewer than eleven Englishmen have already featured in the first four weeks of MLS this year.

Dom Dwyer has been carrying on what he does best and was a stand-out performer against Vancouver Whitecaps were he bagged a brace to secure a 2-1 win for Sporting Kansas City.

Elsewhere there have been MLS debuts for DC United’s Rob Vincent and England legend Ashley Cole for LA Galaxy.

America’s third tier, the USL, also commenced this month with former Tottenham Hotspur forward Cameron Lancaster already on the score-sheet for Louisville City this year.

Hungarian adventure
Not many Englishmen have featured in Hungarian football. When Craig Short took over as manager of Hungary’s most prestigious club, Ferencváros, in 2009, he was joined by four compatriots. Sam Wedgbury, Paul Shaw, James Ashmore and Mathew Lowton all featured in Hungary during Short’s stint at the club.

However, since then there has not been an Englishmen to feature in the league (don’t quote me on that), until Nathan Eccleston made the move to Békéscsaba at the end of February.

Since then, the former Liverpool forward who is now 25, has scored one goal in five appearances as his new side battles relegation in Hungary’s top tier.

Romanian jackpot
The past two months have seen Romania become a serious attraction for English footballers as three have made the move to the eastern European country in recent months.

At the end of February, 25-year-old midfielder Ross Jenkins left Crawley Town to join ACS Poli Timişoara, the former club of fellow Englishman Wilson Kneeshaw. Former Watford midfielder Jenkins has made three appearances from the bench since his move east.

Elsewhere, winger Jeffrey Monakana who had a spell with League Two club Bristol Rovers at the start of this season, joined fellow Romanian top tier side Voluntari, although he is yet to make an appearance.

In the country’s second tier, Moses Makinde, who featured for Auerbach in Germany last season, has featured for Metalul Reşiţa. The 23-year-old has made four appearances so far.

Fresh start in Malaysia
After five seasons in the A-League for three different sides but only 27 appearances, defender Brent Griffiths swapped the Central Coast for Pulau Pinang in Malaysia.

The 26-year-old defender has struggled for game time in the past year but has since made three starts for his new side, lasting the entire match in all three.

After five games in the 2016 season, Pulau Pinang sit in mid-table, with one win and two draws.

Third country lucky
After spells in Spain and India failed to yield goal, Jermaine Pennant finally has a goal on foreign soil (he failed to score in European competitions too) for Singapore side Tampines Rovers.

Since the move to Singapore, Pennant has been a key player for Tampines, firing two goals in six games, which has led Tampines to second in the league after four games.

One of his strikes was a sumptuous free-kick, which can be seen in the video below.

April
April is another big month for new beginnings as football begins in Finland, Norway, Sweden and America’s second-tier, the NASL.

 

2015 Review: #9 Rob Vincent

9 - VincentAfter two seasons with American third tier side Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rob Vincent had the same number of league goals as he had yellow cards.

However, the 2015 season has seen the former Everton and Crewe Alexandra youth player take his game to an unprecedented level. Despite playing in midfield, Vincent fired 18 league goals, triple the amount he had managed in his first two seasons combined.

His goal-scoring heroics were enough to see Pittsburgh make the playoffs and as he finished as the third-top scorer in the USL.

After a hugely impressive season, it’s hardly surprising the 25-year-old from Liverpool finished the year with a spell training with MLS side DC United and a move to the country’s top division remains a possibility for 2016.

This year also saw Vincent score his first ever professional hat-trick and score three goals in three US Open Cup matches, with one of those coming in the fourth round loss against DC United.

Early days

After featuring for his boyhood club Everton at youth level, where he played alongside Wayne Rooney’s brother John, Vincent made the move to Crewe before moving on to Stockport County.

He failed to secure a professional deal with Stockport so the midfielder made the move across the pond to study and play college soccer for the University of Charlston.

Once his degree was over, Vincent joined USL side Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the 2013 season, having picked up some playing experience in America’s fourth tier with West Virginia Chaos and Carolina Dynamo.

Goal machine

The midfielder’s recently acquired eye for a goal has not gone unnoticed. He made the USL team of the year and of course he has had interest from MLS sides but even Vincent himself is finding it hard to pin why he has suddenly become such a goal-scoring revelation.


 

In depth interview with Vincent on the Riverhounds’ YouTube channel.


 

In an interview with the Riverhounds’ YouTube channel, the 25-year-old commented on the momentum that scoring two goals in the season opener against Harrisburg City Islanders. That victory and also the epic 6-5 win over the same opponents later in the season showcased two of Vincent’s greatest performances of the campaign.

However there’s no doubt what the Liverpool-born midfielder’s best showing was in 2015. It came back at the start of August when Vincent scored all three goals in the 3-0 win over Wilmington Hammerheads.

During the year he has developed a reputation for long-range strikes, with many of Vincent’s goals this season coming as sumptuous strikes from outside the area.


 

This 90th minute long range Vincent special secured a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay Rowdies in the third round of the US Open Cup and the chance to face MLS side DC United.


 

2015 has been simply extraordinary for the former Everton youngster. He utterly smashed his target of 10 goals for the season as he comfortably surpassed 20 in all competitions and therefore, in turn, raising his performance levels to an unprecedented high.

2016 will be an entirely different affair. Bigger sides will continue to sniff around Vincent and pre-season will be a very interesting time for him. Next year really could be something big for Pittsburgh’s newest hero.