For years I’ve been creating my own Orlando City teams (and prior to City, my own fictitious Orlando teams) since FIFA 1990-something-or-another. Needless to say, when Orlando Founder and President Phil Rawlins announced that the club would be in FIFA 15’s November update I began to anticipate the date like a kid waits for Christmas. Finally a chance to play the club with official everything!
This morning, despite the busy day that lay ahead, I loaded the update this morning hoping to play a quick match in lieu of eating a nutritional breakfast. A nice opening screen greeted me to announce Orlando City and NYFC’s arrival in the game.
Except, of course, once I navigated to match mode…no Orlando City. That’s because the club hasn’t been added to the playable leagues and free play mode. The new MLS clubs have been added to EA Sports Ultimate Team (FUT) mode. For those uninitiated, FUT is the solution to EA’s cash flow problem. Today’s gaming climate isn’t content to simply have you pay 60 dollars once a year for a slightly improved version of FIFA. FUT mode allows you to build an “ultimate team” through trading cards. This allows you to create teams piecemeal through the purchase of team packs or using in-game coinage to buy trading cards from an online marketplace. Of course, the purchase of both team packs and in-game coins costs real-world cash.
So, theoretically, Orlando City is available. The caveat being that you will now have to hunt down the home and away kits, along with the club badge trading cards. Due to the unique nature of these items, they are available at a premium. For example, the home shirt for MLS team-of-the-moment New England Revolution can be purchased for the reasonable price of 150 coins. Orlando’s yet to be released away shirt can be found in the marketplace for prices ranging from 6,000 to over 9,000. As the marketplace is an auction house, those prices are variable.
Orlando’s players? So far, they’re unavailable, with the exception of Brad Rusin, the former Whitecap who, as of now, has not been offered an MLS contract by City. Various rumors have been circulating the internet with full lineups of Orlando’s USL Pro Squad, but as of yet I have not seen them available in game.
The internet chatter had always questioned the November release, since we have yet to experience the roster-filling expansion draft. Many openly wondered how EA would work around filling out a club lineup with less than a starting lineup’s worth of players under contract, none of which fill the all-important goalkeeping role.
So, as it stands, unless you have a little bit of pocket change to blow and an ample amount of free time, it would be difficult to say Orlando City is included in FIFA 15. Piecing together available information (including this mystery here), a playable version of MLS’s newest clubs may eventually arrive for PS4 and Xbox around the world, but, as of now that is only my own speculation. Watch this space for more updates!