Podcast host and Rio Grande Valley Football Club superfan Edson Ochoa wanted to play as his favorite United Soccer League team in the soccer video game, FIFA 19. The popular title includes leagues from around the world, but does not currently feature the 36 USL clubs.
So, he created it himself.
“I think it’s cool how he did that and I’ve watched a stream before of him playing,” said Toros midfielder Jesus Enriquez, “(and) … it’s pretty fun to watch and see yourself in the game.”
Using a modification to the Frostbite game engine originally posted by GalaxyEham, Ochoa added the club, individual players, fan banners in the crowd and uniforms down to the Nature Valley and Lone Star National Bank ads on either side of the jerseys.
Using the game’s built in player creator, Ochoa has built the RGVFC 2019 roster emulating their real-world counterparts.
“Player attributes are a lot more difficult to recreate due to how subjective these stats are,” he said, “so I just set the benchmark … from the Houston Dynamo players and kept the Toros overall (ratings) lower.”
Ochoa said players with special skills or with a particular playing style were considered.
“For example, Chuy Enriquez is a very agile player that is a great crosser or can hit a curler from outside the box, so his stats replicate this closely,” he said. “It was a long and tedious process, but the end result was worth every second I used of my spare time.”
And fans tune into his Down in the Valley Youtube channel to watch Ochoa’s livestream while he plays as the Toros.
“Being able to imagine the Toros competing in the (English Football League) League Two and rise through the ranks up to the Premier League and one day be able to play in the UEFA Champions League in the game, is just amazing and fun for me,” he said.
The Toros are a one-star team in the game, but they doesn’t seem too underpowered comparatively, he said.
Though Ochoa is a fan of Tigres UANL and Houston Dynamo (the Major League Soccer affiliated with the Toros), “I felt that I needed to support the local team,” he said, “(and) help promote the team in the most creative way possible.”
He urged local soccer fans to attend matches, he said, because “it is representing the place you live.”
“One of the points Sean Ringrose, my friend and co-host of “Generation Orange,” makes is that ‘having a soccer team in your city is a privilege, not a right,’” he said. “We can lose this team from one day to the next, therefore we must support this team to prove to ownership that we care for its survival in the long run and that we appreciate their investment in this team.”