When it comes to sports simulators, some favor the more ridiculous versions of sports sims.

(NFL and NBA Street are among the first to come to mind).


And even if you are on board with the latest annual EA releases—more likely than not—you’ve enjoyed the more extreme sports sims, too. With this in mind, my brother and I set out to recreate the joy we got from NBA and NFL back in 2001. To this, we created a tournament called MLS mess, featuring all MLS teams and ridiculous rules.

Here are the silly ways we played FIFA 16. Please note basic soccer explanation is included to accommodate all FIFA player levels (including those who are new to the sport itself).


Having played these silly matches—several of which include handicaps—helped strengthen our skills. I definitely recommend it to everyone, if only for the novelty of it.

Same color, same team


Exactly how it sounds. Me and my brother each played as the Chicago Fire dressed in the exact same jersey. What resulted was a significant decrease in pass accuracy and a significant increase in chaos.

No passes

We were only allowed to take shots and make crosses (meaning we could attempt goals and make medium/long passes to the center of the field, respectively). Playing on the Xbox One, this meant we could really only use the X & B buttons. This match was incredibly challenging and made for a lot of dribbling. But once this tournament was over I found myself making a lot more crosses. This match trained my eye to see/take cross opportunities when I normally would’ve just passed the ball.

Hacker Match

My absolute favorite (silly) way to play FIFA: in the hacker match your red cards count towards your goals. Red cards are given to players for particularly heinous fouls. For example, a player who does a sliding tackle into another player and gets all body, no ball, often receives a red card. Another example is sliding into a player from behind—often an automatic red.


With this style of play you have to strategize since you are both attempting to score and foul the opposing team. This can get particularly tricky for fouls inside the box which can result in the fouled team getting a penalty kick. So it’s great if I get a red card but if it causes my brother to get a penalty kick and score a goal, it’s a wash in terms of who is in the lead.

Auto-goal match

An auto-goal (aka an own goal) is when a team scores on itself. In real matches, this occurs when a defender attempts to deflect and unfortunately hits the ball into their own net. It turns out the game is designed to prevent intentional auto-goals from happening. If you shoot the ball (hit B) when you are by your own goal you’ll kick it in the opposite direction.

Thus, in order to play this match you’ll have to pass the ball (hit A) into your own net while avoiding your own goalie. You can of course make your goalie walk the ball into the net but that’s far too easy and gives a distinct advantage to whoever does this first (since the team that gets scored on always gets the next possession).

Shots only


For the shots only match you are not allowed to pass (press A or Y) or do a cross (press X). There are a few exceptions to this of course (i.e kicking it off, etc) but for the most part, it’s all shots. This means you’ll have to dribble down the entire field to get a chance to score. An excellent way to improve your handling skills and work towards boosting your shot accuracy.

In the end, the MLS Mess tournament gave us a lot of laughs and a surprising amount of fundamentals.