Just out of curiousity, I did an image search for APBA Soccer player cards this morning. I didn’t find anything that resembled the actual APBA Soccer player cards, so I thought it might be a good idea to post one and talk a little about it.
The card below, Robbie Keane, is from the 2010 Ireland National Team which is available as a free download at APBAgames.com.
As you can see, the card is designed to fit into the APBA family of products. Same look, same feel. You can’t tell by this image, but the cards are the same size and shape (with rounded corners) as all the other APBA game cards. I don’t own any other APBA products, so I can’t speak to the quality of the cardstock or the ink or anything like that, but the cards are thick and sturdy. After heavy usage these past couple of months, I’ve noticed some of the red ink from the card backs starting to rub off onto the front of the cards, but only very slightly, and that’s kinda nitpicky, really. I wouldn’t have brought it up at all if I hadn’t seen some posts on a forum where it was obvious that this was a real annoyance to some players. It’s not to me, not at all.
The 4 team sets that came with my game were cut cards, but the 2010 MLS set that I bought came in perforated sheets that needed to be separated. With Strat-o-Matic baseball cards, separating the sheets is part of the fun. With these APBA Soccer cards, it was annoying. The rounded corners made separating the cards a task rather than an enjoyable ritual. Eh, again, it’s a minor annoyance.
Now, onto the details of the card:
The top of the card shows biographical information, including nicknames for players who have nicknames. Another nitpicky annoyance for me is that APBA always puts the player’s very last name in the large font. In soccer, especially with Latin players, the player’s very last name is often not the name the player goes by. So, for the Sounders’ great striker, APBA’s card shows him as Fredy “Fredy” Montero MUNOZ. WTF? For the 2010 MLS MVP from FC Dallas, APBA’s card says David Ferreira RICO. That drives me nuts, but apparently it’s consistent with all their other cards, so there you go.
Position is an important designation. In APBA’s soccer game, there are only 4 positions a player could play: Forward, Midfield, Defense, Goalkeeper. There are no distinctions between an attacking mid like Landon Donovan and a defensive mid like Ozzie Alonso. Brek Shea is listed as a Defender in the 2010 MLS set.
Now for the ratings:
- Offensive rating = this determines where the player ranks in his team’s lineup. The highest rated player on the pitch will have the most touches in offensive zones.
- SOG (Shot on Goal) rating = this is the unadjusted number that determines whether or not a player’s shot is on target. For example, for Robbie Keane, if he takes a pass from a player with a 0 Assist rating and Keane shoots from Zone D (therefore there would be zero adjustments to his SOG rating), then a roll of 11-36 would mean the shot is on goal (proceed to roll on the Goalkeeper”s card) and a roll of 41-66 would mean the shot missed.
- AST (assist) rating = this is an optional rating that can be used in conjunction with SOG rating to adjust the likelihood of a shot to find its target. I use it, I like it.
- PK (penalty kick) rating = this rating is used when the player is taking a PK. In Robbie Keane’s case, a roll of 11-65 means he shoots on target (proceed to the GK’s card to check for block). A roll of 66 means he flat-out misses the goal.
- CK (corner kick) rating = this rating determines which column to read the Corner Kick results from on the CK chart. A rating of A is the best, C is the worst. I don’t think there are any “A” rated players in the 2010 MLS set. I haven’t found one, at least.
- FS (fouls suffered) = this rating determines the likelihood of a player being fouled. Players are ranked within their lineup by this rating. Whoever has the highest FS rate is the most likely to be fouled.
- FC (fouls committed) = same as FS, but for Fouls Committed.
- INJ (injury) rating = this is the number of games a player missed in a given season. The highest is 34, so if you are playing a league that has more than 34 games in its season, you’d find the percentage of games missed by dividing this rating by 34. APBA includes a chart to help with that conversion. Apparently, Robbie Keane didn’t miss any 2010 Irish National team games.
- RC/YC/F = When a player commits a foul, you roll the dice. If the result is within the first number (for Keane this means if the result is 11) then he draws a Red Card. If it’s greater than the first but less than or equal to the second (for Keane this means if the result is 12), then he draws a Yellow. Otherwise, it’s just a regular foul.
- Player Result Numbers: For any normal roll, the result is read off the player card and player result numbers. You’d find the result number and go to the applicable Formation Chart and then proceed as the chart dictates. For instance, if Robbie Keane and Ireland has the ball in Area E and you roll a 34, the result of a 34 is 49. Go to the Formation Chart (there are a total of 9 charts, which you use depends on which formation each team is using). A 49 on the Formation Chart will be a “Foul Suffered”. I know this because a 49 is always a Foul Suffered on any chart.
This Robbie Keane card must’ve been one of the early cards produced, because I know that in my set, at least, the 66 is typically a good offensive number (usually a 1 for strikers). I heard grumblings about lack of consistency in this regard when the set was first released, but that seems to have been resolved with recent releases.
You can usually tell how offensive-minded a player is by how many single digit results he has on his chart, since single digit results are most likely to end up as shots. Some others have claimed to have cracked the code that tells you if you how well a defensive player will hold a ball, but I haven’t tested their results or seen evidence of it in my own games yet.