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A look at Maxi Moralez’s Team of the Season card

The diminutive Argentinian has been given an amazing new FIFA card. But is it worth purchasing?

MLS: Champions League Quarterfinal-Club Tigres at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of each FIFA cycle, I typically ditch my tryhard tendencies in favor of fielding an all-MLS team in hopes of squeezing out any last bit of fun there is to be had in EA Sports’ leading football franchise. Of course, FIFA 20 has probably been my least favorite game in the series’ history due to its clunky gameplay, terrible animations, and more-than-obvious scripting. But, what else is an addicted gamer to do except play the game until the wheels fall off?

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic putting virtually every football league on pause for the past few months, EA Sports decided to drop its Team of the Season for various leagues early this year, dubbing it Team of the Season (So Far). Included in it is an assortment of Major League Soccer players.

Of the tons of usable MLS players released, New York City FC received representation with Maxi Moralez earning a beautiful TOTSSF card. Let’s analyze it a bit.

MLS: New York City FC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Position: CM

Overall: 92

Current price: 78,000+

Having had a little over a week to play with Maxi’s ultimate card, I can say for sure that it’s worth every penny I payed for it. His pace rating stands at 91, which includes 99 acceleration and 81 sprint speed. His overall shooting stats are at an even 90 rating, with none of the sub-attributes dipping below 87. As expected, the Argentinian playmaker has excellent passing with a total rating of 92 in that category.

Where this card really gets its value, however, is in the dribbling department. With an overall rating of 95, Moralez possesses an immaculate 99 agility, 95 balance, 91 reactions, 93 ball control, 95 dribbling, and 93 composure. This means that despite his size, Maxi will be incredibly hard to dispossess. His low center of gravity, smooth first touch, and the ability to keep the ball close to his body at all times is invaluable when you’re going up against the cream-of-the-crop defenders like Virgil Van Dijk or TOTS Gerard Pique.

To make the card even more balanced, Moralez possesses both a 4-star weak foot and 4-star skill moves. Oh, and he has 99 stamina which makes him viable for the duration of any match.

In the 29 games he’s logged for me thus far, Moralez has accumulated 18 goals and 11 assists which is good for contributing an even one goal a game. Let’s look at some of his highlights.

In this first clip, I carry with Maxi from a wide position. I cut into the middle, drawing a defender towards me and opening up space to find Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan evades a defender and finds Maxi on a return ball in the middle of the park.

From there, NYCFC’s No. 10 holds up the play for a few seconds before splitting the defenders with an incisive ball back to Ibra, who ran in behind. I unfortunately flub the finish on this one.

Still, this a sample size of the quality balls Moralez will produce. He’ll also smash in some cracking goals.

In this clip, Nani is dispossessed in the box. My opponent attempts to launch a counterattack with a through ball, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is there to meet it and “tackles” the ball towards Luis Figo out wide on the right.

The Portuguese winger delivers the ball back into the middle of the park to Schweinsteiger. The German midfielder then distributes the ball to Maxi at the top of the box. With one nifty touch to his dominant right foot, the Argentine scorches his shot into the upper-90, with the opposing keeper helpless to save it.

This is more so designed to show everything that Moralez can do. His quick movement and pinpoint accuracy allow him to effortlessly link up with Ibra once again in a stunning sequence of one-two passes before Maxi finishes off the play with a tidy far-post finish.

So now that we’ve demonstrated the pros of having Maxi’s card on your team, how can he fit into your squad?

As I mentioned in this article’s introduction, I have a mostly MLS team so fitting him in wasn’t too difficult.

Playing as the LCM in a 4-3-2-1 formation, Maxi has positive links to Nani at LF and Ike Opara at LCB. Because MLS lacks any usable left back, I currently have Ajax’s Nicolás Tagliafico at LB. Alternatively, I could swap Maxi to the RCM spot for Schweinsteiger at link former Chicago Fire man with a Nico Schulz, Phillip Max, or Tim Leibold. As a matter of fact, that would probably be the smartest thing to do. But I kinda have an affinity for Tagliafico, so I’ll keep him there for now.

Regardless, this is not the formation I go into games with. Immediately upon finding a game, I switch to a custom 4-2-3-1 with Maxi as my CAM to ensure he is always involved in the buildup. Alternatively, Moralez can also be used efficiently as a winger or LAM/RAM.

Now let’s say you have no interest in using an MLS team. Can you still incorporate Maxi somehow? Absolutely!

Because he is Argentinian, Maxi can fit into a multitude of squads that involve big ballers such as Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, Alejandro Gomez, or even Carlos Tevez and Eduardo Salvio. The options are really endless in regards to links in both the attack and midfield.

The only place you will struggle with links in on the defensive side of things. Of course, Tagliafico’s 93-rated TOTS card is always an option at LB. But at CB, the only somewhat viable link you will find is Nicolás Otamendi’s 85-rated Scream card at CB.

This of course goes back to MLS links on defense. If you’re willing to keep Tagliafico at a temporary chemistry rating of 7 — which will eventually go up to 8 if you log at least ten games with an Argentinian manager — Ike Opara and Miles Robinson are potentially the best defensive pairing in the game. No, I’m not joking. And they can easily be linked to Edwin Van Der Sar’s 80-rated Icon card, which I’ve been using for months now with few issues.

Hell, even if you don’t have space for him in your squad, buy him and put him on your bench.