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This is (sort of) the best MLS team you can make in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team

Don’t worry, there are some NYCFC players in there!

MLS: New York City FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The release of FIFA 19 is right around the corner. But with just under two months still left until launch, most of us will stick with FIFA 18 until the 11th hour to squeeze any last bit of enjoyment out of the product.

Personally, I consider myself a Pro Clubs guy. But the premier game mode on FIFA would have to be Ultimate Team.

I have dumped dozens upon dozens of hours into Ultimate Team, eager to defeat my online opponents and prove why my playing and squad building abilities are vastly superior to theirs.

Like many hardcore fans of MLS clubs, I have been eager to build a team the revolves around America’s top-flight. And due to us being near the end of FIFA 18’s cycle, there have been plenty of amazing cards to come out of the league that can allow you to do just that.

I want you to take this team I have constructed with a grain of salt, though. This is my team that I’ve built and it is suited specifically to my style of play. This isn’t a definitive list as preferred personnel will vary from player to player. I have also taken the cost of each individual card into consideration when it comes to its selection.

Another thing to take into account is that FUT’s transfer market economy is constantly changing. While I have listed the prices of these cards, they are representative of what they were when this article was written. By the time you read this, the cost of each card may have gone way up, or even way down.

So, without further ado, here is my take on the best MLS team you can create in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team:

GK: Tim Howard

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Colorado Rapids

Rating: 93 (Festival of FUTBall)

Current price: 18,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Glove

We start our list with Tim Howard’s Festival of FUTBall card. Needless to say, he’s an absolute beast.

Howard’s 93-rated card is a 15-point increase to his more-or-less unusable 78 base card. The American legend goalkeeper will keep you in the game with tons of class saves and will be hard to beat throughout the game. His positioning can definitely be better, but you’ll have few complaints in the long run.

To help with said positioning, it is best to put a Glove chemistry style on the card. This will bolster his already stellar and handling, in addition to his positioning.

RB: Anton Tinnerholm

MLS: Columbus Crew at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New York City FC

Rating: 78 (in-form)

Current price: 19,750+ coins

Chemistry style: Sentinel or Shadow

Our first outfield player in our team is our very own Anton Tinnerholm! Don’t let the sub-80 rating fool you, this Swedish right back is gonna put in work.

Tinnerholm’s 78-rated in-form is equipped with 86 pace, 78 defense, and 84 physical. Among his most impressive attributes is his 99 stamina rating which means that he will be in top form — or at least close to it — for the full 90 minutes. And though he will struggle with aerial duels, Tinenrholm also possesses 86 interceptions, 82 marking, 84 standing tackle, and 81 sliding tackles making him an absolute beast on the ground.

When it comes to selecting a chemistry style, you can go one of two ways. You can put a Sentinel on him and make him defensively and physically more overpowered. Or, if you have the coins, you can slap a Shadow on him and increase his pace to 96 and his overall defending to 92. None of these styles will improve his sub-par heading ability, but they will do a damn good job of hiding it.

Unfortunately, his signature “Tinnerboom” shots won’t be a realistic possibility due to the card only having an overall 50 shooting rating. But, still not a bad card by any means.

RCB: Kendall Waston

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Vancouver Whitecaps

Rating: 80 (Heroes)

Current price: 39,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Shadow

At the right center back position is Whitecaps bruiser Kendall Waston.

Though he is on the slower side, even for a defender, Waston’s 80-rated Heroes card is an absolute animal in the air and is an absolute bully when tussling with attackers. Without any boosts on his base card, the Costa Rican has 98 strength, 97 aggression, and 81 jumping in addition to having 80+ marks in interceptions, heading, and marking. Waston’s skillset is perfect for aerial duels and set-pieces.

Putting a Shadow chemistry style on Waston is the way to go. It will give him a compentent amount of pace to not get caught out too much, as well as improve upon his lackluster standing and sliding tackle attributes.

If you have the coins to spare, you will love this card. Beware, though: he isn’t easy to find and is bordering on extinction these days.

LCB: Ike Opara

MLS: Columbus Crew at Sporting KC Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Sporting Kansas City

Rating: 75

Current price: 1,400+ coins

Chemistry style: Sentinel

Next to Waston is MLS’s favorite cult hero Ike Opara. The longtime Sporting KC center back is often slept on due to his low 75 rating, the lowest possible rating for a gold player in FIFA. However, his 84 pace makes him a favorite among MLS homers and FIFA “Road to Glory” players alike.

Opara’s height of 6’2” makes him an aerial threat and his 84 pace allows him to consistently mark superior attackers. Factor in his 77 stamina, and you have a center back that will be constantly on his toes for most of the game.

Due to Opara’s subpar defensive abilities, a Sentinel chemistry style is an absolute must-have. This puts almost all of his defensive and physical attributes to 85+ and makes him much more formidable against the absolute beasts you will face in the higher divisions or in Weekend League.

LB: Ashley Cole

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Club: LA Galaxy

Rating: 91 (Festival of FUTBall)

Current price: 17,250+ coins

Chemistry style: Finisher

Rounding out the defense on the left flank is Ashley Cole’s absolutely insane 91-rated Festival of FUTBall card. No matter what combination of players you will deploy next to the English legend, Cole will be the star of any defense he is featured in.

With 92 defense and 80 physical, this card is capable of dispossessing anyone and everyone that comes close to him. Additionally, Cole also possesses 91 pace, 91 dribbling, and 90 passing, making him a huge offensive threat as well. If you prefer your fullbacks to join the attack, Cole will do more than get the job done.

Obviously, there aren’t many areas this card can improve upon other than its shooting and physical ratings. Therefore, putting a Finisher on it will make it a legitimate duel-threat left back and will strike fear into your opponents’ offense and defense alike.

CDM: Michael Bradley

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Toronto FC

Rating: 90 (Festival of FUTBall)

Current price: 15,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Shadow

The first to appear in our midfield is yet another Festival card, this one belonging to Toronto and USMNT captain Michael Bradley.

All around, this is a great card. With every attribute having an 80+ rating, Bradley is a member of the prestigious “Gullit Club.” Bradley will give your defense all the cover it needs, and will also be a valuable asset to your team’s offense as well. Not to mention his 99 stamina will make him effective all game. There really isn’t a bad thing to say about this card.

The Shadow chemistry style will do wonders for his pace and his defending and truly put him over the edge.

RCM: Andrea Pirlo

MLS: Eastern Conference Semifinal-Columbus Crew at New York City FC Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New York City FC

Rating: 91 (End of an Era Squad Builder)

Current price: N/A (must have completed the required Squad Builder)

Chemistry style: Gladiator

At the right center-mid position is none other than “the Maestro” himself, Andrea Pirlo. This End of an Era card will give your MLS team a bona fide passing threat and will constantly supply your attack with lethal through balls and over-the-top passes. Add in the fact that his free kick ability is stellar as usual, and Pirlo is a shoe-in to fill almost any position you wish to play him in the midfield. His 53 stamina will be a problem, however. So be willing and ready to replace him early in the second half.

The chemistry style you apply to Pirlo is completely dependent upon how you want to play the game. For me personally, I prefer the Gladiator style. This chemistry style will give big boosts to both his shooting and his defense, which will make the Italian playmaker competent both when shooting and tracking back for defensive support.

LCM: Miguel Almiron

MLS: Atlanta United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Atlanta United

Rating: 82 (in-form)

Current price: 31,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Gladiator

Trust me, I was pressured to include that 88-rated Bastian Schweinsteiger at the left center midfielder position. But instead, I have elected to go with the 82-rated Miguel Almiron in-form card. While Bradley will give you good balance and Pirlo technical prowess, Almiron will give you the pace and shooting ability needed to stretch opposing midfields and give a good backup option when your adversary is playing defensively and isolating your attackers.

Though his 2-star weak foot will hold him back a bit, Almiron’s left-footed strike will consistently give keepers headaches and his 4-star skill moves will provide the Atlanta youngster the ability to evade defenders and find space for passes and plethora of other offensive opportunities.

Like Pirlo, it’s best to slap a Gladiator chemistry onto Almiron. This will make his shooting all the more effective, as well as boost his defensive abilities to a low, but respectable 68. Worry not, though. Almiron possesses the pace to make up for his defensive shortcomings.

CAM: Kaka

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Orlando City

Rating: 92 (End of an Era Squad Builder)

Current price: N/A (must have completed required Squad Builder)

Chemistry style: Hunter

To complete the midfield, we have none other than Kaka at the No. 10 position. Needless to say, the Brazilian legend will fulfill all of your offensive needs.

Kaka’s special SBC card possesses some of the best attacking attributes in the league. With 91 shooting, 89 passing, and 95 dribbling, the former OCSC captain will absolutely cut up defenses with skill and precision, and will seldom let off a bad shot or pass. His 55 stamina will be a problem late in games, but he should be perfectly fine for at least 60 minutes.

Don’t take the traditional route when applying a chemistry style to this card; don’t improve upon his weaknesses. Instead, double down on Kaka’s superior abilities in the final third by applying a Hunter chemistry style — good for gains on both pace and shooting — and let loose! Don’t forget to apply instructions to keep him forward as well.

RS: Romain Alessandrini

MLS: Columbus Crew at Los Angeles Galaxy Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Club: LA Galaxy

Rating: 86 (in-form)

Current price: 91,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Finisher

LA Galaxy’s star winger Romain Alessandrini features as the right striker in our squad. Since receiving his first in-form this FIFA — an 82-rated card — Alessandrini has been a popular choice among FUT players due to the Frenchman’s blinding pace and stunning left-footed strike.

Alessandrini’s 86-rated in-form is a bit pricey, but more than worth it. Though his aforementioned left peg is his deadliest weapon, his 4-star weak foot allows Alessandrini to be almost as deadly on his right foot when close to the net. Oh, and he has 97 pace, 92 dribbling, and 4-star skill moves, which means that any defense regardless of talent will struggle to contain him. Furthermore, Alessandrini has 97 stamina. Need I say more?

The Finisher chemistry style will put this card absolutely over the top. Not only will his shooting attributes jump up to a 99 rating or close to, Romain will also receive much needed boosts to his jumping, strength, and aggression.

LS: David Villa

MLS: Colorado Rapids at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New York City FC

Rating: 93 (Festival of FUTBall)

Current price: 28,000+ coins

Chemistry style: Hawk

Finally, it is here. The crown jewel of the team, David Villa’s gorgeous Festival card!

El Guaje’s 93-rated card, without any boosts, has 92 pace, 97 shooting, 82 passing, and 94 dribbling. Add in the fact that Villa also a rare 5-star weak foot and 4-star skill moves, and you have what is perhaps one of the most compete striker cards not only in MLS, but in the entire game. And for the affordable price of 28,000 coins, this card is an absolute steal!

The only glaring “weakness” on this card is its 78 physical. But by applying the Hawk chemistry style, Villa receives a boost to that, as well as his pace and shooting. Overall, a Hawk will push his pace to 96, his shooting to an immaculate 99, and his physical to a respectable 82.

Honorable mentions/Bench players

Josef Martinez (ST): 86-rated in-form

Reason for omission — Though Martinez possesses both good pace and shooting, he is not as well rounded as Alessandrini is. But for only about 31,000 coins, he is an adequate replacement if you don’t want to break the bank.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (ST): 96-rated Festival of FUTBall

Reason for omission — Zlatan’s card is an absolute beast on paper, and I will surely attract some anger for leaving a 96-rated card — technically the highest rated within MLS — off the list. But Ibra’s card plays more like a target man as opposed to a more dynamic striker like Villa, meaning that crossing must be in your bag of tricks. Also, the card is currently worth almost 400,000 coins. Many who would even consider using an MLS team won’t be able to scrounge up that kind of change. Overall, just one of those beast cards that some can use, but I couldn’t.

Roman Torres (CB): 78-rated Heroes

Reason for omission — Everyone’s favorite Panamanian is practically extinct at this point, with a card appearing only once a week or so. Plus, his card has a shocking 40 pace. Good luck marking any decent striker with that.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (CM): 88-rated FUT Birthday Retro

Reason for omission — I have Schweinsteiger’s SBC card and unfortunately, it isn’t very usable compared to other midfielders available. His low pace and stamina make the card a bit lethargic, even if it is capable of brilliance from time to time.

Sebastian Giovinco (CF): 90-rated Team of the Season

Reason for omission — Honestly, I would have no qualms if someone wanted this card. It’s fast, good at shooting, and can produce the goods on free kicks. However, the Atomic Ant is just too small for my liking. His 5’4” frame is destined to get bullied by the likes of TotS Sergio Ramos and Kalidou Koulibaly, making getting in behind a really rough and exhausting task.

Diego Valeri (CAM): 88-rated Team of the Season

Reason for omission — All of Valeri’s special cards this year have been good. Unfortunately, none of them really measure up to the talents of Kaka, Pirlo, Almiron, and Bradley.

Clint Dempsey (CF): 92-rated Festival of FUTBall

Reason for omission — I used Dempsey’s card for about 20 games a few weeks ago. And as much as I wanted him to work, he didn’t. Too often was he in poor position and despite having 82 pace on paper, he moved like a semi-truck. Then again, I personally know people who love this card. So feel free to grab it up for 18,000 coins or so if you feel you can do something different.