GUIDE: Building the BEST Canadian XI possible in EAFC 24 Ultimate Team
It’s late September, which for football fans out there, can arguably be seen as the best time of the year.
In North America, leagues are coming to a close, while in Europe, many competitions have just started back up, making for a lot of appointment-viewing watching.
But while there’s a lot of action to keep up with on the pitch, it’s also worth noting that it’s a great time for those who enjoy cultivating the game in different forms.
One such way? In the video game form, as this is also the time of year when EA Sports drops their always-popular FIFA (now EAFC) game for the year.
Because of that, it’s an exciting week for those who enjoy diving into the action from behind a controller, as the latest edition, EAFC24, is now less than a week away from full launch.
And for those who enjoy playing FC24 up in Canada, it’s an especially good year, as there have been some key changes, namely for those who play Ultimate Team (FUT).
Now, for the first time ever, women’s and men’s players are in FUT. For Canadians, that’s key, as that’s now significantly increased the amount of usable Canadian cards in the game, as there haven’t been many of those on the men’s side over the years, giving fans the possibility of having a good all-Canadian team right from game one now.
Top 12 Canadian player ratings on EA Sports FC 24 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/YbNkeTt1tR— Josh Deming (@tv_jjd) September 16, 2023
Therefore, for those who have always dreamed of being able to score an Alphonso Davies cross with Christine Sinclair, or have Jessie Fleming and Stephen Eustáquio link-up in the middle of the park, this is the edition for you.
Speaking of, however, here’s a look at a usable all-Canadian Ultimate Team XI that can do a job on day one of the game, using a standard 4-3-3 formation as a template.
Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan
To begin, there’s in goal, where Canada’s got some good options now. No doubt, however, is that Kailen Sheridan leads the way, as her card comes in at a strong 85 overall. Along with well-rounded stats, which isn’t always the case with goalkeeper cards in the game, she can be a good piece to start with in goal.
Defence: Alphonso Davies, Shelina Zadorsky, Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence
At the back, however, is where it’s always been hard to compete with an all-Canadian team, but that’s changed this year. First, there’s Alphonso Davies, who has been a fixture in many Bundesliga squads across the years in FUT, as he remains a threat with his pace. Then, at the other full back position, Ashley Lawrence is a similarly strong threat, as she has a very well-rounded card, and good pace, which is always useful.
Meanwhile, over at centre back, five-time Champions League winner, Kadeisha Buchanan is a no-brainer, for obvious reasons, thanks to her defending stats and ability in the air. Lastly, however, is where things get interesting. Based on how well-rounded her card is, Shelina Zadorsky could make sense, especially for those who prefer having some pace at the back, but Vanessa Gilles card could also be very dangerous in the air in both boxes, and could be worth looking at if you can handle the -9 pace difference on Zadorsky (which feels quite harsh based on Gilles real-life speed, by the way).
Midfield: Stephen Eustáquio, Julia Grosso, Jessie Fleming
Further up the pitch, there are certainly some options now in midfield, especially depending on the play style. In terms of balance, however, the trio of Eustáquio, Grosso and Fleming offer balance - they all have at least four base stats in the 70s, and have nothing lower than 61.
Given that Fleming and Grosso have a bit more in the offensive categories, you can deploy them as #8s, and then have Eustáquio clean up underneath them, giving a team balance on both sides of the ball.
If not, however, it’s also worth noting that there are also good alternatives, too. At the #6, pace could be a concern with Desiree Scott, for example (although she has just five less pace stats than Eustáquio, but she has great defending stats, and ditto with Sophie Schmidt. Then, further up the pitch, Christine Sinclair has some solid attacking stats, and could do a job as a #10 if you use that in the game.
Because of that, there are no shortage of options in midfield, which could add flexibility depending on one’s preference.
Forwards: Janine Beckie, Jonathan David, Nichelle Prince
Lastly, moving up the pitch, a front three of Beckie, David and Prince should offer more than enough variety in the attack.
On the wing, Beckie and Prince have a good combination of pace, dribbling, passing and shooting, which is exactly what you want from wide players. They each only have 3-star skills, which hurts those who like to use the right stick, but the rest of their attributes make up for that absence.
Then, up front, David’s card is a solid one to use, especially given that he’s got a five-star weak foot, which can make him dangerous as a central striker, seeing that he can shoot from either side. Along with some good finishing stats, decent pace and good dribbling stats, he’s a good choice for those who want their striker to be good with their feet.
If not, however, Cyle Larin could also be an alternative, especially for those who like to cross the ball more. His card doesn’t have the usability on the ball as David, but his size and heading ability could be useful for those who like to hang up crosses.
And, for what it’s worth, there are also several other alternatives that can be taken into account, too. For example, you can play a back three with Gilles, Buchanan and Zadorsky, pushing Davies and Lawrence up as wing-backs, helping get even more defenders on the pitch.
This is the best Canadian starting 11 in EA Sports FC 24 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/xNJlOBN74w— Josh Deming (@tv_jjd) September 17, 2023
Then, with the new evolutions in FC24, which allow you to upgrade players, you could also end up tweaking a card that might not look as usable now, and really turn it into something worth using.
For example, one of the evolutions from early in the game allows you to turn a bronze card into a gold card by completing some achievements - Victor Loturi and Jacen Russell-Rowe could be good candidates to use that evolution on to shore up a midfield or an attack.
Either way, one thing’s for sure - this is a great year for those who enjoy the challenge of creating an all-Canadian FUT team, and that should hopefully only continue throughout the year if Canadians earn in-forms and other special cards of the like.