How ironic is it that a computer game is making this Atlanta United fan experience feel more real than ever before?
With Football Manager 2017's beta release last week (available for the semi-neurotic people like myself who preordered the game), we finally caught a glimpse of AUFC's first appearance in a computer/video game. The team is largely discluded in the current version of FIFA 17 -- only some of the players and the team badge are available in the Ultimate Team game mode. FIFA can't add the team until they have 1) a kit and 2) more players.
Football Manager is different, and the game is well-known for it's attention to detail. Let's take a dive inside Atlanta United in the Football Manager world, and see how it looks.
Here's the club's main profile page. Maybe the most notable piece of info here is that Ken Bone has replaced Tata Martino as the manager. I kid, I kid. But I was impressed when I saw they had the club playing in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Pretty cool that they have that in the game. Hopefully they don't think that's our permanent home, do they?
Nope. You can see here on the Facilities page that the team is planned to move into Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the summer. Cool! Once the move happens, this page will adjust to compare with the MBS profile (like having a roof, played on turf, stadium capacity, etc.)
Another profile page. Mostly the same stuff, but you can see the attendance figures. They have Atlanta as having 25k season ticket holders, which is comparable to some of the attendance figures that have been leaked out in the press recently.
And finally, just in case you were wondering, You can see Arthur Blank and Darren Eales here in the front office. When I played the game, I met with -- I'm sorry -- Ken Bone met with Arthur Blank to discuss certain philosophies that must be met by the manager. There were none.
You'll notice there's a certain Carlos Bocanegra not appearing as the Director of Football. Good news and bad news here. The good news is that the game starts with Boca as Atlanta's DoF. The bad news is that he only stuck around for a month or so before he left for the same position at Orlando City (bastard). I don't think he and Ken Bone didn't get along... I think it's a glitch that would happen every time. I'll explain later. Let's get onto the player profiles.
That's right, even Jeffrey ----ing Otoo is in this game. Chris Goslin is in this game! I love Football Manager.
Some of the player info is pretty clearly off, like Chris Goslin being a RW/ST, but on the whole, I think it's a good recap (even if they did misspell Tambakis). Would love to hear people's thoughts on these player profiles, especially those who have seen them play. (FYI, each attribute rating is out of 20, not 100 like Fifa.)
I'm obviously playing this save, and it is without doubt the most confusing, convoluting, and rewarding save I've ever played. We all know MLS rules are difficult to wrap your head around, but it's much easier when you take over an established team and strive to make marginal gains in terms of player/coach quality. But to build a team out of nothing? Whew!
Minnesota is also in the game, and just like irl, there's a priority draft, expansion draft, re-entry draft, SuperDraft, etc. It's very true to life, and a very tough test even for an experienced FM player.