Breaking FIFA: Timbers n^4 v. Sounders 0

During the NFL season an enterprising writer for SB Nation, Jon Bois, blogged about "Breaking Madden" by altering the inputs in significant and debilitating ways and observing the results. The results were often gut-busting laughs. Here is the result from the Super Bowl, a soul crushing 255-0 win for the Seahawks over the Broncos. Actually, the game stopped counting after 255 points (8-bit processing wins?). It was 366-0 in the first quarter when a supremely hilarious glitch occurred and Jon could not continue in good faith.

In light of this week's game against Seattle Sounders FC I decided to break FIFA 14 (PS3). To not only do it for the sake of the rivalry but to offer that glimmer of hope still remaining in this nascent season. And for laughs, yes, for sadistic laughs.

I wish I had video capturing technology to document this but smart phone snapshots and saving replays via FIFAs Replay Theater will have to do. Expect significant degradation in picture quality below. I even went out of my way to download the Vine app to test the waters there. That said, within FIFA 14 (PS3 North American version) there are a number of settings open for adjustment. Think World Class difficulty players recover way too quickly? You can make it more realistic in these settings. But change them too much, and the game stops resembling a professional soccer match and becomes the cripples against the Spartans. Minus that whole event at Thermopylae.

Breaking FIFA


What did I change? First, I adjusted a few of the Match settings like increasing the half length to the maximum 20 minutes for maximum scoring opportunities. I also self selected the ball to be the adidas Tricolore because I fondly remember that ball on the soccer fields of my youth. I removed bookings so I could slide tackle without any moral reservation. Likewise I increased the likelihood of CPU injury and severity to match my bloodlust. Given that I was going to be Gazelles among Turtles it was necessary to improve game flow by removing the ever perfect offside rule (Seriously, how precise does that rule have to be EA?).

Below is a list of game settings and inputs that EA allows you to change. The most important being the Gameplay Customization. Sorry, changing the camera is not addressed here.

As I saw fit some categories were set to 0 and others to 100 to improve goal scoring for the Timbers and impotentize (?) gut the Sounders. And some testing was involved. For instance, I tried to play with User Pass Power at 100. However, I constantly over-hit even the simplest pass rendering my ability to score a goal in 30 simulated seconds difficult. I mean, I'm supposed to score a goal in less than 30 simulated seconds with ease even with Weber -- for some fluke reason he touches the ball -- playing it out of the back. I also made the Sounders extremely compact so the wings were avenues of approach.

The full list of settings:


  • Half length: 20 mins
  • Difficulty level: Amateur
  • Referee: Random
  • Game speed: Slow
  • Ball: adidas Tricolore


  • Injuries: ON
  • Offsides: OFF
  • Bookings: OFF
  • Handball: OFF

User Gameplay Customization (50 out of 100 being the default)

  • Sprint speed - User: 80
  • Acceleration - User: 100
  • Shot error - User: 0
  • Pass error - User: 0
  • Shot speed - User: 100
  • Pass speed - User: 65
  • Injury frequency - User: 0
  • Injury severity - User: 0
  • Goalkeeper ability - User: 100
  • Positioning: Marking - User: 100
  • Positioning: Run Frequency - User: 100
  • Positioning: Line Height - User: 100
  • Positioning: Line Length - User: 50
  • Positioning: Line Width - User: 50
  • Positioning: Fullback Positioning - User: 100
  • Power Bar - User: 50
  • First Touch Control Error - User: 0

CPU Game Customization (50 out of 100 being the default)

  • Sprint speed - CPU: 0
  • Acceleration - CPU: 0
  • Shot error - CPU: 100
  • Pass error - CPU: 100
  • Shot speed - CPU: 0
  • Pass speed - CPU: 0
  • Injury frequency - CPU: 100
  • Injury severity - CPU: 100
  • Goalkeeper ability - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Marking - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Run Frequency - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Line Height - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Line Length - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Line Width - CPU: 0
  • Positioning: Fullback Positioning - CPU: 0
  • First Touch Control Error - CPU: 100

As you can see from the settings I set the max and min to my benefit and increased the futility for the Sounders. The Timbers are now so fast they can outrun crosses and dribble around GK Frei with ease. Even Jewsbury. Shot power is so strong the shot button only need be pressed lightly for an instant for a Golazo. The GK ability for the CPU is so weak finesse shots from 40 yards can be completed. And as the results will show, I was often always in 6-on-1 situations: Chara against Frei in the 18, with 5 outlets readily available and Sounders defenders laboring to catch up. Here's a pic with Kah on the ball.


Caption: "Who should I pass to?"

Hospital balls. Passes so weak they're in need of medical help. That describes every single Sounders pass under these conditions. -- SPOILER -- Their pass completion percentage was a dismal 55% in the game I played. Dribbling is a chore for the CPU. Mere changes is wind speed appeared to cause dispossession. It is like they all went to Mucho Gracias the night before and were cursed with Montezuma's Revenge.

Roster/Tactic Changes

I did make an attempt at guessing what the Timbers starting 11 would be. That said, I tweaked the Timbers formation into a 4-2-4 with the fullbacks pressed very high. No tactical adjustments were made for the opposition because the Sounders formation and roster was out of my control. I employed no subs during the match and neither did the Sounders.

Timbers Staring XI:

Fernandez -- Urruti -- Valeri -- Zakuani

Johnson (c) -- Chara

Powell -- Kah -- Paparatto -- Jewsbury



Subs: Withrow, Alhassan, Nagbe, Danso, Zemanski, Nanchoff, Piquionne

Sounders Starting XI: (4-2-3-1)

[Note: I had no say over their formation/roster]


Neagle -- Rose -- Cooper

Pineda -- Alonso

Remick -- Traore -- Marshall -- Yedlin


Subs: No idea. I forgot to document this.

The scoreline

CAVEAT: This game took me over an hour to complete because of goal celebrations, replays, and the occasional notes. I gave up at halftime. It was getting late. Sorry, I didn't finish the game.

Picture proof. Posted without comment.


The stat sheet

Timbers 49 - 0 Sounders
49 Goals 0
78 Shots 0
70 SOG 0
61% Poss % 39%
12 Tackles 19
1 Fouls 0
0 Injuries 3
6 Corners 0

Video highlights

Opening goal, 13 seconds into the game (from the scoreboard you can barely see). Valeri dances. Timbers 40 - Sounders 0. (YouTube free music selection was randomly selected)

Urruti scores a goal from a Jewsbury corner. Timbers 40 - Sounders 0.

I really should have gotten better highlights, but that's what I captured. It was a learning experience.


  • Zakuani's triple hatrick. Only to be bested by Urruti with 12. Every player on the field had at least one goal. Top 4: Urruiti (12); Valeri (9); Zakuani (9); Chara (5).
  • Leading assists: Urruti (10); Valeri (9); Johnson (7); Zakuani (4).
  • Leading shots on goal: Urruti (17); Chara (12); Zakuani (10); Valeri (8).
  • GK Weber dribbles the ball from box to box at a dead sprint avoiding the cones that resemble Sounders uniforms and scores a stunner from 18 out. He hit it HARD!
  • Curiously, no Sounders player was injured by me. They live to fight another day. But I have a simple explanation, they coughed the ball up so easily that slide tackling turned into an errant cross before I knew it. Note: Square is slide tackle and chip shot on defense and offense respectively.
  • That said, three injuries occurred. And I don't know when or how it happened. Sorry Marshall, Neagle, and Remick.
  • Chara had the lone foul in the entire game. Typical of his impact on matches.
  • One goal from about 40 yards out. Chara almost scored a stunner from the center circle. It bounced off the crossbar.
  • The game reminded me of this fun (but crippled with ridiculous CPU comebacks) soccer iteration from Nintendo.
  • My own CPU controlled players attacked the ball so well I couldn't stop all of them from letting a Sounder meander his way towards the goal and get a shot off.
  • I got a lot of practice doing celebrations. L2 + O/Sq, plays a violin. R1 + O, is some kind of dance on all fours that reminded me of Kevin Costner imitating tatanka. Pic evidence.
  • Celebrations v2: Chara flailed his arms after each goal (Think Will Johnson's windmill after the PK last year) and the game didn't allow me to celebrate because it went straight to a replay. Maybe it knows that Chara doesn't score.
  • Kudos to Frei for collecting 49 balls out of his own net in 45 minutes. He logged an otherwise masterclass 21 saves.
  • The Sounders beat the Timbers in a few stats: Injuries (3-0); Tackles (19-12). #Moralvictory

Parting Shot

I did try to let the Sounders, and I really mean TRY, get a single shot off. But none happened. However, Weber logged a save from a Martins tackle at the top of the 18. Gold Star for effort.

P.S. And n ≠ 0. Timbers win.

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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