Football Manager 2018 is out in beta now, and naturally I wanted to see how the in-game Union stacked up against the real thing. First thing I did was appoint myself Philadelphia Union manager and scope everything out.
Most of the information here seems pretty accurate. The Union’s national reputation is three stars, which is on par with most of MLS. Only the LA Galaxy have more (3.5 stars), while Minnesota United FC is the only one with less (2.5 stars). Both Atlanta United and LAFC are listed at three stars. Talen Energy Stadium is listed in very good condition while the pitch is perfect. It is listed as owned by “Council” instead of Delaware County however, and the rent is listed at $749k per year. No roof, no undersoil heating, and the Union have average corporate facilities, great training facilities, and superb youth facilities. There’s a 10-year ground sponsorship deal at $999k per season, ending in 2020. It also lists the training ground as “Chester Park” - perhaps in homage to the actual Chester Park that the Union used to practice in.
The Union’s rivals are listed as D.C. United and New York Red Bulls being fierce rivals, with the New England Revolution and New York City FC being listed as other rivals. The rivalry with the New York Red Bulls is listed as the Turnpike Derby, which is kind of awesome. Sebastien Le Toux is listed as a club icon, but not a club legend (this is a debate I’m sure we’ll hear more of in real life as time goes on).
The squad is also pretty accurate, although there are some things that were a bit off. All of the players are listed on the roster, including Eric Ayuk. The Union have three players with a current rating of four stars (superb for the senior team) - Alejandro Bedoya, Andre Blake, and Ilsinho. Three and a half star rated players are Chris Pontius, Maurice Edu, Haris Medunjanin, and Roland Alberg. Other players of note: CJ Sapong is three star rated while Charlie Davies and Jay Simpson are two and a half star rated.
For potential, Eric Ayuk is the highest rated at three and a half stars with the potential to improve to four and a half. Auston Trusty has three with the potential to reach four, and Adam Najem, Derrick Jones, and Marcus Epps are all two and a half with the potential to reach three and a half.
For what it’s worth, Maurice Edu’s injury is listed as a broken lower leg with an expected recovery time of between two and four months. The game date is January 4, 2017 which means Edu will be available by between March and May (which we know didn’t happen).
Fairly straightforward stuff here. Earnie is listed as the General Manager, Mike Sorber the Assistant Manager, Oka Nikolov as the goalkeeping coach, Tommy Wilson as the Head of Youth Development, Kevin Miller is the Fitness Coach, and B.J. Callaghan as just a regular coach. On the medical and scouting side, Paul Rushing is the Head Physio, Chris Albright is the Chief Scout, and Joshua Gros is listed as a scout.
As for the coaching staff, the Union get good marks on goalkeeping training and scouting while receiving poor marks on defending, data analysis, and medical staff. You’re allowed to hire one more coach, five more scouts (including data analysts), and four more medical staff (physios and sports scientists) without making a board request.
How much did Sports Interactive get right and how much did they get wrong? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or twitter!