Friday, February 3, 2012

What Formation To Use In FIFA 12

Most gamers that play FIFA 12 have realized that every team has that one formation that works best. And I believe it tends to be the same in real life. From Barcelona's 4-3-3 to Napoli's 3-4-3 FIFA 12 has a lot of different options to choose from. But which formations are the best and which one's work best at which times? Well, in most cases you have to know which team you're facing to choose a formation to counteract that particular formation. I will explain that all and much more in a minute as I break down some of the most popular formations in the game of FIFA and how you the gamer can use them to the fullest.

Setting Up the Squad
Before you even looking at the formations screen I highly suggest you take a deep look at your squad. Knowing where the strengths are within a team is extremely important and can be the deciding factor of winning or losing a game. For instance, if you have chosen a team that has 2 or 3 top class strikers then you would want to choose a formation that plays to their strengths. The same can be said about central midfielders(CM's) and center backs (CB's). But let's say you play with Manchester City or Barcelona. Both teams have a whole host of strikers. That's where being smart with who you decide to start and bench will come into play.

Knowing the Other Team
Another thing I suggest you do before a match - especially if you're in an offline mode like career mode - is to take a look at the other team. Take a look at their formation and players and make your decision based off that. For instance, if I was facing Barcelona and saw that Messi was playing at LW and I was Inter Milan I would put a fast RB (Maicon) on Messi's side so I could counter-act Messi's pace. You can also tell certain players to mark other players. For example, If I was playing with Arsenal and I was setting up my side to face Stoke City I would set my 6'6 center back (Mertesacker) to mark Stoke's 6'7 Crouch. Whereas If I wouldn't have set up that mark I could have a situation where Koscielny - who is only 6 foot - would try to challenge a 6'7 striker for a ball in the air. It's certainly something I would not want seeing as Crouch has 7 inches on my center back and would easily out-muscle and out-jump him for the ball.

So knowing which players are where and what their strengths are is an extremely important concept that you have to master if you hope to have a chance when facing the computer on a higher level difficulty setting.

Choosing the Formation
After you have taken look at your squad and the opposing squad it is now time to choose a formation. The most common one used in FIFA is a 4-4-2(or other variations like 4-1-2-1-2, or 4-2-2-2). This is most likely due to the fact that it incorporates 2 wingers and 2 strikers into the system, I highly suggest this formation to new gamers because it provides defensive cover as well as attacking prowess. The second most popular formation is the ever-present 4-3-3. If you have speedy wingers and full-backs in your side this is the formation for you. It really plays to their strengths and if you have creative Center Midfielders in the middle of the park you can just play lobbed through balls over the opposing defenses head all game. The only thing I would be aware of with this formation is that there is only one true striker and depending on who you have players can really get isolated up top. I generally like to have a pacy striker that also has good strength up top. Players like Cardoza, Llorente, Zigic, Ibrahimovic, or Crouch are often guys I stay away from because the slow down my gameplay. Stick with guys like Rooney, Sturridge, or Milito. Other than those 2 formations and their variants there's really not many other formations that work too well in FIFA 12.

Changing Formations
Lot's of times in games I'll find that my formations don't work the way I wanted them too. Sometimes it's because I didn't scout the other players too well or maybe I started the wrong guys in the wrong places. Generally when this happens I'll finish out the half and then at the intermission look at what needs to be fixed. Also another thing I'll do is if I'm in the 70th minute and I'm down a goal or two I'll change to 3 at the back and start pushing guys forward. This can be a really positive move and has gotten me a couple of late wins. Another thing I suggest you to do is make a crazy formation. What I mean by 'crazy formation' is something that will put the most people in the box and will score you some goals. I always have a formation saved in my custom formations that's absolutely insane and I'll have maybe 2 defenders, some midfielders and the rest strikers or high wingers. But be extremely careful about this formation, it can leave you very vulnerable at the back and I've conceded many a goals because of that.

*Extra: Choosing Kick Takers and Captains*
Another thing that's good to do while your setting up your team is to mill around on the kick takers screen. There you can toggle between which players you want taking free-kicks, corners, penalty kicks, and you can even change the captain on this screen too. When selecting the corner kick takers I generally will choose someone that has great curve and has a foot preference that is opposite the corner. Therefore, I can swing in a cross that my target guys will be able to rocket into the back of the net. Also, when selecting corner kick takers, choose the relatively small guys on your roster to take them, anyone below 5'10 is a good candidate. The reason I say this is because you want the tallest guys you have in the box so they can jump over and compete with their markers. It goes back to what I said earlier about Crouch and Koscielny.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The End Of An Era

Well, what a whirlwind couple of weeks it has been for me, especially in the blogging department. I have some exciting news for everyone and it may seem abrupt but I have decided to join forces with The Daily Wiz and become a senior writer there. Along with Justin Mayhugh (founder of TDW) I will be covering all aspects of SKC as I did on this blog.

Only difference is, TDW and SB Nation provide me with a much better platform than this site does to express my views on Sporting and will get my news out to a larger audience. Being part of it was something I could simply not pass up.

As for this blog, well, I don't quite know it's future, maybe it'll die and be forgotten, maybe I'll change it into a Ea Sports FIFA blog, or maybe I'll continue writing about SKC on it, but at a much lower level. I don't know exactly what will happen with it but I can say I've had a great time with it this past half a year and I thank you for all your views and comments, they mean a lot. If you have an idea for the blog tell me in the comment section below. I hope and trust you will continue to follow me at The Daily Wiz and enjoy all the content I will be providing over there.

I'd just like to thank a few people who have helped me on my journey this far and will continue to be great colleagues and mentors with me into the next step of my blogging career.

Isaac Knopf - Founder of Footy Chronicles
Christian Sinclair - Founder of Ad Astra SKC
Thad Bell - Founder of The Backpost
Mike Kuhn - Founder of Down The Byline
James Starrit  - Founder of Sporting Times

Thanks guys.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daneil Cyrus On T&T's U-23 Olympic Qualifying Team

Sporting Kc's youngest center back Daneil Cyrus will be apart of Olympic Qualifying this spring with his country Trindidad and Tobago. Daneil Cyrus will join a U-23 side with a familiar face in Sheldon Bateau who was a former trialist with KC.

Cyrus spent most of 2011 out of both his club and international squad with an injury but has slowly made his way back to match fitness and will join the Soca Warriors in their quest to qualify for the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Sporting Kansas City has told me that Cyrus will be around in 2012 meaning that the T&T defender will most likely miss some games in late March and possibly early April for Sporting because of the tournament.

Cyrus would most likely face up against Teal Bunbury if his team progresses out of the group stage to face the USA and we could see that match-up at LSP.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jeferson Signs With Bahia

News broke today that Bahia have signed former Sporting Kansas City designated player Jeferson. Jeferson only  made 9 appearances in the MLS with KC - most of which were as a sub - and recorded zero goals. Although Sporting receives no money for this it's nice to know that his future has finally been settled as he was on loan to various clubs for the past couple of seasons.

I believe Jeferson will get some decent playing time with Bahia. He didn't show much in MLS but I believe football in Brasil will fit his playing-style a lot better. Although Bahia is in the top division in Brasil they finished 14th last year and were lucky not to be relegated.

The signing should come as no surprise since TheDailyWiz posted a couple days ago that 2 clubs were interested in Jeferson, one of them happened to be Bahia.

I know most of you guys don't really care much for past Sporting players - especially ones that fail to make any impact with KC - but I just thought it'd be good to get the word out.

I speculate KC will be making some signings soon, so keep your eyes open for any news.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Former Junior's Update

So I am going to try and get a new segment started here on the blog called the Former Junior's Update. Now I realize the Junior's Blog does the same thing but they update every month and don't follow proffesional graduates like Ellis or Kempin. I'm going to try and follow both collegiate players and juniors that are now pro's and get an update out weekly. Basically it'll just be a look at all the former junior players of Sporting Kc's youth academy that have gone on to college and beyond. It is similar to downthebyline's recurring segment of Former SKC Wizards Update and that's where I got the idea from.

I will try to get out one each week. There will be a set day where I will be releasing them further down the road when I get a good grip on these posts.

So, here's the first one:


Name - College - Update

Tom Adams - Oral Roberts - Played 14 games and scored 3 goals in first season with Oral Roberts in 2011
Christian Duke - San Diego - Played and started in all 18 games for Toreros in 2011
Patrick Foglio - William Jewell - Can't find info
Brandon Fricke - Butler - Played 16 games for the Bulldogs in 2011
Laeth Hamil - Baker - Played in 21 games in 2011
Asher Herbert - Long Island - Played in 16 games in 2011
Eric Hymer - Fort Hayes St. - Can't find info
Konnor Knoll - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 1 goal for the Kangaroos in 2011
Raymond Lee - St. Louis - Played in 17 goals and scored 4 goals in 2011
Marques Mayoras - Ohio State - Played in 4 games for the Buckeyes in 2011
Kyle Miller - Rockhurst - Started and played in 20 games and scored 1 goal in 2011
Eric Moore - Rockhurst - Can't find information/didn't play in 2011 season?
Michael Oakley - UMKC - Played in 15 games for the Kangaroos in 2011
Paul Oliver - Oral Roberts - Played in 16 games and scored 2 goals in 2011
Peter O'Neill - Northwestern - Played in 21 games and scored 2 goals in 2011
Jordan Rideout - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 7 goals for the Kangaroos in 2011
Jimmy Simon - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 1 goal for the Kangaroos in 2011
Alex Sweetin - St. Louis - Couldn't find info
Taylor Vinnage - Rockhurst - Didn't play in the 2011 season
Will Witherspoon - Virginia Tech - Played in 18 games but only started 3 of those in 2011

Professional or Semi-Pro

Name - Club - Update

Kevin Ellis - Sporting KC - Recorded zero minutes in MLS, played in all 10 of Sporting Kc's reserve matches, starting 9
Jon Kempin - Sporting KC - Recorded zero minutes in MLS, started 1 game for the reserves.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Omar Bravo Signed With Cruz Azul For Three Years

I know it's a little bit of a touchy subject for a lot of you guys out there but I just wanted to let you know that Omar Bravo has signed a three year deal with Mexican side Cruz Azul.

Well the fact that he had signed with them was old old news. But none of us really knew how long his stint with Cruz Azul would be. But multiple reports from across Mexico have said his contract is worth 3 years. Some of the reports have been out for a week or so so it's not breaking news, still thought I should share it with you guys though. Here's a list of all the sources I could find saying his deal with Cruz is worth three years:

*Translating from Spanish to English sometimes gives you weird phrases

As is team policy, Sporting did not release information on the deal with Cruz, so all we could do was guess. Many of us thought his contract would only be a year or two. In-fact I had reported to you guys on twitter that a source close to Sporting had told me that it was Omar Bravo's choice after the Mexican season to either come back to KC or stay on with Cruz Azul. Which could still be the case, but at least now we know how long his contract is.

Also, if you look at the reports, Omar Bravo seems quite happy with Cruz and is very excited for their upcoming season. So I'm going to go ahead and assume he won't ever be back to KC in Sporting blue.

Other Omar Bravo News
Omar missed a penalty in his first match with Azul, but still managed to beat "The Whales" 2-1.
Omar scored 2 times in his club's 3rd friendly ahead of the 2012 season against Lobos BUAP

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Daneil Cyrus Back For 2012

21 year old defender Daneil Cyrus will be back for the 2012 season. Sporting Kansas City has told me that as of right now, the Trinidad and Tobago international will be reporting to KC along with the rest of the team for the 2012 pre-season.

This was a very fuzzy area for many of the Sporting Kansas City fans seeing as Sporting's press release from July did not state whether or not Daneil would go back to FC Santa Rosa or stay on with Sporting. A source close to Sporting Kansas City has told me that he will stay.

This does however also contradict FC Santa Rosa's press release that says that the Trinidadian would be back to FCSR at "the end of 2011". But obviously the two clubs have hammered out something.

Keeping Cyrus is a huge boost for SKC due to their lack of depth at the center back position, which as of right now, consists of 2 players. I have not heard if Daneil has been bought from FCSR or if his loan deal has been extended, but I would think it's the latter.

Also, just to humor the FO of Sporting Kansas City, they had originally said Cyrus was 6'3 but apparently he has shrunk 2 inches.