Lockdown. Weekend League in August, not everyone’s cup of tea but I am a sucker for punishment… and if I am honest I just really like playing this game (even if it can be a broken mess at times). However, it is at this time in the cycle that two things start to happen for me. 1. I can start to afford the players that I could not get my hands on earlier in the year such as PM Maradona who graced my squad this weekend. 2. I start to venture off and try more and more of the new cards to freshen up my outlook on the game. The key to new cards is their ability to compete with the insane amount of options that we are faced with, and of course matching with the meta of the game. This weekend I decided to give one of these new and intriguing options my attention in the form of Award Winner Sebastián Blanco. The MLS returned to action with a tournament format, as “MLS is Back” concluded with the Portland Timbers being crowned Champions… while Blanco was named tournament MVP for his outstanding performances. Thankfully, for the sake of this review, they juiced this card to an incredible level and without a doubt this card fits in with everything out there at the moment. I utilized the boosts of the HAWK chemistry style and placed Blanco as the right ST in my 4-4-2 formation (picture is in game formation). In the end, Blanco proved his incredible value all weekend in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 9.8/10
Dribbling Rating: 9.8/10
Shooting Rating: 9.5/10
Passing Rating: 9.2/10
Physical Rating: 9.0/10
Defending Rating: N/A
If you covered up this card and simply showed any FUT Manger the statistics with Award Winner Blanco I think you would get some interesting responses. Just a simple comparison between Blanco and some of the OP cards you face match after match results in some shockingly similar results. Of course, the statistics mean nothing if the card does not perform in-game… if you follow me on Twitter @IVIaeNine (changed Twitter to match my gamer tag) you will know he did perform and aided a return to an Elite finish this weekend… and it all started with 27 goals and 8 assists in 20 matches during this review… I think it is safe to say that Blanco does offer that in-game performance. In fact, everything about this card was made for FIFA 20 … from the 99 ACCELERATION & 99 PACE… to the 5’6 (168 cm) frame with 99 AGILITY & 98 BALANCE… and into the 92 FINISHING with a 5 STAR WEAK FOOT… he has it all.
Linkability Rating: 3/5
Anytime you step out of the top 5 leagues it is always going to be a bigger challenge when squad building. There is certainly a decent selection of heavily boosted MLS options from the TOTSSF promo, but there are not many that really caught the eye for me. Instead, we move to the nation and the task gets a little easier with such a popular option. But, it is worth noting that even then useable ICON options are limited and while there are numerous Argentinian players out there… it certainly isn’t France when it comes to selection.
End Game Strength
End Game Strength Rating: 5/5
I will give EA this, they made this card to compete and to last. Similar to the Joe Bryan Award Winner you can actually get some real play out of these boosted options. I touched on a lot of Blanco’s key qualities… but you have to revisit the dribbling and shooting when discussing his end game potential. This weekend Blanco helped deliver another elite finish with his swivels like turns and powerhouse finishing. 99 SHOT POWER, 99 LONG SHOTS & 99 VOLLEYS were all on display as Blanco scored often and from everywhere. He is no Mason Greenwood, but he scored some big goals and contributed a goal or assist in every match he played.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5
Even with the crazy price of fodder this card sits at 65k and is crazy value for the card you get. Maybe he doesn’t stroll into your first team, but he is a fantastic super-sub as well and really can stretch the lines of your opponents with his pace. But if we return to the high price of fodder conversation for one second we start to see the true value of Blanco… he is literally a win-win option in value for coins… on one hand, you get a useable player capable of scoring goals and causing problems… and on the other hand, if you do not like him, Blanco is still the cheapest 94 rated card available by 10k.
While Blanco has a lot of upsides, there were still a couple of areas where he struggled and kept me from giving a slightly higher rating. Namely, his passing and physical abilities. From a passing perspective, I felt that Blanco mirrored Greenwood in a lot of ways… they can obviously pass the ball from point A to point B. However, in the tight spaces that require pinpoint accuracy they can be a bit off, which causes break downs in key areas. From a physical perspective, it is interesting that all of the things that make Blanco such a fun and enjoyable card (his size and agility) are also the cause of the physical issues he faces in-game. The HAWK boost to 79 STRENGTH does little to nothing for Blanco and he is easily moved off of the ball when defenders get a hand to him; which makes sense given the fact that the youth mascot towers over him during the walkout.
No brainer here. Give him a try, I think you will be impressed, especially if you prefer smaller agile players such as Messi and Alejandro Gomez. I trusted him to start all 28 matches I played (sometimes I will shuffle my squad after a review)… as a sub I can see his pace being a nightmare for opponent’s tired legs and you know he will finish the chances he gets… and finally, if neither of those suit your needs or he somehow does not do the business for you… you have the cheapest 94 in the game to put towards your next failed Prime Moments pack. Cheers for reading.