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FIFA14 Preview - Is there any reason to be optimistic

The Hoops are in a slump. Will they stay there against Real Salt Lake?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Playing with FC Dallas on FIFA14 over the past few weeks has been tough for me. Tough because I couldn't figure out how to not give up garbage goals. Tough because I couldn't get or keep possession. Tough becuase the most goals I could score in a single game was one.

I thought I had turned an offensive corner earlier this week, when I beat the LA Galaxy 5-0. Then I played Real Salt Lake.

Kyle Beckerman and company kept the ball away from me during a frustrating first half, but I came back and scored three midfiled goals to pull-out a 3-0 victory.

Possession goes away and frustration returns

One of the things FIFA14 does better than earlier versions is allow the computer to hold the ball and kick it around a little when they want to. Premiums are put on defensive positioning and patiently waiting for the time to steal the ball. It's probably more like real soccer, but really bugs this gamer.

Kyle Beckerman is a solid video-game midfielder, and his name bears mention again, along with Javier Morales. Trying to get the ball away from them and their fellow midfileders was really tough. I just couldn't get any possession in the first half. I think the halftime possession rate was probably

In the second half, I was able to keep better possession, using midfileders and defenders to switch play from flank to flank. It helped get men open and score goals.

Midfield getting aggressive

My FC Dallas FIFA14 midfielders got much more offensive for FC Dallas in this game -- something the real squad might consider.

In the 48th minute, Victor Ulloa took a through pass from Je-Vaughn Watson and put the ball, surprisingly and efficiently, into the upper-90. Fifteen minutes later, Watson cut inside and used his left foot from just inside the penalty area to find the far corner. The video game version of Adam Moffitt even made a run up the middle late, got a through-ball, and slotted home the third and final goal of the match, making the final score 3-0 FC Dallas.

I don't think 3-0 is a reasonable score-line for Saturday night, but FC Dallas midfielders need to push forward early, play together in a more dynamic way, and make a big effort to get the first goal within the first half-hour of the game.

Move up a level?

Maybe I'll move up to the more difficult level next week. For now though, getting a W in the video game might be the only way they come for a while.

What it will take to beat RSL?

To beat Real Salt Lake, the Hoops will have to push early and take some chances. It could backfire -- RSL put up five goals on Houston two games ago -- but it would make for a wide-open game at least.

When Dallas was winning early in the season, they also gave up some chances to the other teams, with Chris Seitz an early unsung hero. Dallas should lose any sense of conservative play and take more chances pushing forward. Use the speed on the flanks and the


Unfortunately, I think Dallas reacts to bad results by getting more and more conservative. They stay in their funk this weekend. Keep in mind, my predictions have all been essentially wrong over the past few weeks, so I'm sorry/ you're welcome.

Real Salt Lake beats FC Dallas 2-0.