Introduction: How do these articles work?
Each Sunday I examine a different team in detail and look at why they’re a good team for FIFA 17’s career mode. The teams are broken down into the following categories:
- Tier 1: Teams in tough divisions that can push on to challenge for silverware
- Tier 2: Teams that will have to fight for survival in a challenging division
- Tier 3: Teams that start in a lower division but can hope to get promoted and work their way up higher leagues
- Tier 4: Teams that start right at the bottom of the pile, with few funds or high potential players
Union Berlin (Tier 4)
Tier 4 sides start at the lowest rung of the football table. They’re great if you want a long-running career mode where you rise through the leagues.
- Why choose Union Berlin?
- Recommended purchases
- Suggested sales
- Future considerations
Starting transfer budget: £3,046,114
Starting wage budget: £50,014
Default formation: 4-3-3
• Domestic success: High
• Continental success: Very low
• Brand exposure: Medium
• Financial success: Medium
• Youth development: Medium
Key player: Damir Kreilach
Best young prospect: Jakob Busk
Why choose Union Berlin?
Like many leagues in FIFA 17, the German second division has lots of competition. Most teams have similar budgets, meaning you may struggle against them to bring in players. As well as that, Union Berlin have one of the lowest counts of high potential players in the division, but your board still wants you to get automatic promotion. It’ll be a tough season.
Still, their budget of £3m is enough to bring in some quality players. There are also some very good players already in the squad, so you want need to completely overhaul the squad. A few tweaks here and there and you’ll be ready to challenge for the title.
The team’s key player is Damir Kreilach. He’s a central midfielder who can do a bit of everything. He can tackle and has 82 strength, so will be difficult to beat. But as well as that, he’s got 90 stamina, good passing and great long shots, so will be able to surge forward late in the game and either set up his teammates or score himself. He’s a great all-rounder.
Union Berlin’s most promising young player is Jakob Busk. Keeping clean sheets will be vital if you’re going to challenge for promotion, and this goalkeeper is what you need to do that. He starts at 71 OVR and has 77 potential, but could easily exceed that with a bit of training – it’s only 6 points of growth, after all. Keep hold of him and give him plenty of games and he could get into the 80s.
Strongest starting lineup
Changing the formation slightly to 4-2-3-1, here is Union Berlin’s strongest starting lineup, with OVRs in brackets:
Highest potential lineup
Keeping the formation at 4-2-3-1, here is Union Berlin’s highest potential lineup, with potentials in brackets:
Key signings required: CB, RB, LB, RM.
Before buying anyone, change the budget ratio to 61:39. This will give you £3,501,043 in transfer funds and £41,265 in wages. That’ll make you ready to buy some players.
Looking at the highest potential lineup above, central defence needs work. Roberto Punčec is one of the lowest potential players in that lineup with 70 potential, and Toni Leistner will need a better defensive partner once you get to the first division.
My suggestion is Ertuğrul Ersoy of Bursaspor in Turkey. He’s got 80 potential so has a great future ahead of him, and his 68 starting OVR means he can fit into the starting eleven almost instantly. He’s pretty strong and very good in the air already, so will develop into an excellent physical player.
Bursaspor want £1.4m for him but will accept an offer of £1.2m. His wages are £5,000.
Union Berlin have two right backs, but both of them have already reached their potentials. Given they have potentials of 72 and 69, they’re probably not going to be outstanding in the first division. We’ll need a replacement who will be able to cope with the higher division for years to come.
I recommend Pedro Pereira of Sampdoria. He’s already got a decent OVR for his age, so could well exceed his 81 potential with a bit of training and some good performances. He’s good in both attack and defence too – once he’s developed to his potential, he’s going to be a brilliant all-rounder.
Sampdoria want you to pay £1.7m for him, but that can be knocked down to £1.1m. His wages are £8,000.
Club: Cardiff City
Union Berlin have a bit of a problem at left back. In the images above I’ve put Christopher Trimmel there, but he’s actually a right back. In fact, the highest potential left back in the team only has 68 potential, and he’s 30 already so will start declining soon. This position is in dire need of a long-term fix.
Declan John of Cardiff City is my solution. He’s good enough to get straight into the starting lineup, and his 80 potential means he’ll hold down that position for a long time. Like Pereira, he’s also very well-rounded. In fact, he can play in most outfield positions and do well there – a very useful thing to have in any team.
Cardiff City want £2m for him but you can reduce that all the way down to about £1.2m. His wages are £23,000.
Club: V. Guimarães
Cost: £0 (loan)
Ideally, it would be good if we could improve right midfield. While there are a fair few right midfielders at Union Berlin, the best of them only has potential 72 (or 73 if you put left midfielder Maximilian Thiel there). Unfortunately, we don’t have enough money to buy a right midfielder, but we can still loan one in.
With that in mind, I recommend you loan in Alexandre Silva from Portuguese side V. Guimarães. His OVR of 70 will make him the best winger in the side, and his potential of 79 means he’ll grow well during his loan spell. He’s very fast and great at dribbling, but can also score a few goals as well.
You may want to loan him in for two years rather than just one in order to get the most out of him. Whether you decide to do this or just have him for one season, his wages are £4,500.
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning can be sold before he starts declining. He’ll get you around £500,000.
As for defenders, Emanuel Pogatetz and Michael Parensen can be sold for £300,000 and £500,000 respectively. Kristian Pedersen and Christopher Lenz can also be sold for £150,000 and £100,000 each.
Finally, sell Christopher Quiring, Adrian Nikçi and Raffael Korte for £600,000, £600,000 and £450,000.
Future considerations: get a new right midfielder
While Alexandre Silva is a very good player, we’re only loaning him in. Really, we want someone on a permanent basis. If you manage to save up a bit of money, this is a good place to spend it.
The player I recommend is Lee Gwang Hyeok of Pohang Steelers in Korea. He’s absolutely rapid thanks to his 92 acceleration and 93 sprint speed, so will fly past defenders. His 90 balance will also be fantastic when he needs to get past defenders in tight areas. Plus he’s got 81 potential, so will grow really well once he’s on your team.
Future considerations: get a new striker
Union Berlin’s strikers aren’t too inspiring. The best is Philipp Hosiner, but he’ll only grow to 73 OVR. We’ll need a better player to bang in the goals in the top flight.
My suggestion is Brandon Thomas of RCD Mallorca. He’s fast, good at dribbling and has excellent finishing, so will have no trouble beating defenders and putting his chances away. His 69 OVR will put in close to the starting lineup, and his 78 potential means it won’t be long until he’s developed enough to be your first choice striker.
RCD Mallorca want £2.2m for him but you can negotiate that down to £1.6m. His wages are £7,000.
That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. Union Berlin don’t have many high potential players, but still have a demanding board. Put their budget to good use, though, and you’ll be able to ace the division and head up to the top flight.
I’d like to hear if you have any thoughts about the format of the article itself. Did you find it useful? Conversely, do you think it was missing something that you’d have liked me to include?