When it comes to sports games, no EA Sports franchise had a bigger weekend at EA Play than the soccer behemoth that is FIFA. In a piece of news that excited soccer gamers all over the globe, EA Sports announced that the latest edition of the game, FIFA 19, will include the biggest club tournament in the world, the Champions League.
It’s news that ramped up the usual anticipation the comes with the FIFA franchise, and fans of the game made it a point to circle the Sept. 28 release date on their calendars. Among those fans are Chicago Fire and United States midfielder Dax McCarty, who was in attendance for the event in Los Angeles. In addition to attending the event, McCarty and FIFA influencer ZwebackHD took on LAFC midfielder Lee Nguyen and FIFA influencer Castro1021. By the time the dust settled, Nguyen and Castro1021 walked off the virtual pitch with a 2-0 win.
In the midst of all this, McCarty spoke to Uproxx Sports on Sunday about the upcoming edition of the game, his experiences with the FIFA franchise, the 2018 World Cup, and the United States Men’s National Team’s 1-1 draw against France from Saturday afternoon.
Uproxx Sports: What are you doing out at EA Play?
Dax McCarty: We’re out here, myself and Lee Nguyen. We’re just enjoying it, man. We’re just enjoying it, we’re out here getting the new version and seeing all the people out here that are planning to do the World Cup 2018 version. Super cool, we’re out here in the LA Palladium. We’re just basically in awe of all of these unbelievable FIFA players out here, how many people come together for the beautiful game. EA Sports just continues to raise the bar, I think, when it comes to online sports, online gaming. It’s just different level, so to be out here, to be a part of it is a pleasure.
Obviously the big announcement yesterday was Champions League coming to the game. What aspect of that excites you the most, and how pumped up were you when you got to find out that next year’s game will have that unique experience for Champions League matches?
It’s unbelievable. Like I said, they continue to raise the bar. Knowing that all the best teams from all the different leagues around the world are going to be able to play against each other, I think it’s going to bring a whole different element to the game of FIFA, so I’m really impressed by the level that they continue to raise. I think when you have your league seasons and teams playing each other, the same teams playing each other all of the time, I don’t want to say it can get a little boring, but maybe it gets a little bit stale. You want to have that adrenaline rush, and that feeling of being able to play Manchester United against Bayern Munich, and the real feel of a Champions League game is truly unbelievable.
We hear across basically every sport that athletes love playing that sport’s signature video game. Have you noticed that to be true with FIFA and MLS and national team players?
I have. I think when it comes to soccer players, especially, obviously we can’t get enough of FIFA. We can’t get enough of playing against each other. I always tell all my friends it’s truly unbelievable. I can tell my friends and my kids that I’ve been playing professional soccer for 13 years. I’ve been on 13 different video games. How cool is that, you know. I even think that players from different sports, whether it’s NFL, NBA, MLB players, I have a feeling, and this is just a gut feeling, but it’s also stuff I’ve seen online, that all those guys enjoy playing FIFA the most out of everything.
I think soccer is such a unique sport, its fluidity, the fact that coaches have such little control once the game actually starts. You can adjust things a little bit tactically, but at the end of the day, the game is so fluid and the game is so open. It’s not like other sports, and I think other athletes from other sports appreciate that a lot, because their sports are very slowed down. You have time outs, you have unlimited substitutions. It’s just such a unique game in the overall scope of world competition that I think everyone can all come together and agree that FIFA is one of the best sports to play in gaming.