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FIFA14 Preview - (Almost) everyone's back!

I thought I was going to be playing with a full deck. I (almost) was able to use all the players at my disposal as Mauro Diaz showed why he's the Hoops' most important player.

Mauro Diaz continues to be the key to FC Dallas' season. Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Mauro Diaz continues to be the key to FC Dallas' season. Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It was like playing Madden, as the Cowboys, and not being able to use Tony Romo. Sure, there were ways to win, but the degree of difficulty went sky-high without the team's best player.

The past few months of playing FIFA14 as FC Dallas without Mauro Diaz has been interesting. Diaz' skill level (high 70's) versus other players at that position (mid-50's) has not made playing this video game with FC Dallas any easier. Last weekend, Diaz wasn't supposed to be in the lineup, so I played again with a straight 4-4-2 formation and found a little success.

This week, FIFA14 has again adjusted its default and placed Diaz front-and-center in an FC Dallas formation that looked more like the one they started the season with. The result was goals. Lots of them.

Working with Blas Perez up front, Diaz got a through-ball in the 20th minute to put the Hoops up 1-0, angling in a shot to the far corner coming from the left-hand side. His speed and ball control are well-represented in FIFA14.

In the 32nd minute, it was Diaz delivering the service. This time, Je-Vaughn Watson sped up the right hand side on a perfectly-timed overlapping run. Watson buried the ball in the back of the net.

New England did get a goal in the second half. I was so frustrated by the goal, I didn't even see who scored it. The bottom line was that FC Dallas defenders were completely outnumbered somehow and didn't have the speed to get back for whatever reason.

Dallas put the final goal on the board as Andrew Jacobson -- a second-half substittution -- slotted home a cross in the 78th minute for the final goal of the game as FC Dallas won 3-1.

Hendry Thomas is once again out of the rotation for Dallas after scheduling surgery. He is one of Dallas' highest rated players not named Diaz, so it makes a difference, especially when it comes to supporting defenders from the midfield.

In the game, Dallas out-shot New England 13-6.

The Diaz return is a great omen for Dallas. His dynamic play is the reason why they were so good in the first part of the season. With that said, I'm a little worried about the integrity of the central defense. Defenders don't often get beaten in this game, and to see it happen makes me think there's at least a goal in it for New England tonight. Dallas fans should hope that Diaz can help create more than that.

In an unusual twist, my prediction this week matches the FIFA14 score.

Final FIFA14 Score - FC Dallas 3-1 New England Revolution

My Prediction - FC Dallas 3-1 New England Revolution