FM Scouting: Guilherme Alves da Costa

Once again, we plumb the depths of the FM database and find – surprise, surprise – that this time our new Brazilian trialist has left a trail of sniffable bits. Whereas Alfredo was little more than a sketch of a player, Guilherme is almost fully fleshed out, which is a little odd given that he seems never to have played a first team match (according to the database anyway…).

So what kind of player does he seem to be? See for yourself…

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United’s announcement of his impending arrival says “defender,” but this is a Brazilian left back we’re talking about. “Defender” is about the last word you’d need to define most such cats, and Guilherme doesn’t look to be an exception.

He’s good on the ball, quick and with a bit of flair. He can dribble and hit a decent cross, but don’t look to him much for marking, tackling, taking up great defensive positions, or winning balls in the air. In short, he’s a wingback (natural position is listed as wingback first and fullback somewhat lower) with a decent motor that’s going to help you out on the overlap but is probably a liability defensively.

Certainly doesn’t sound like the horse we’ve already got in the stable, does it? Let’s compare…

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Despite their nearly identical size, Woolard and Guilherme are certainly not two peas in a pod. Where Woolard is a defend-first, reasonably physical guy who can do a job for you without the ball, Guilherme does his damage with it. He’s all about speed, bombing down the flank, creating chances on the dribble and via the cross.

Sounds good, right?

On the surface, he looks to be everything that was on my wishlist: an attack-first left wingback to contrast with the more stay-at-home Russell on the right and provide width on the overlap when Pontius inevitably cuts inside from the left flank. A peek under the hood of the FM Editor even assures me that he’s professional and adaptable (if a little lacking in ambition) and is actually a slightly better defender than his initial stats above would indicate. Likewise, his current ability is rated slightly higher than Woolard’s and his potential is solid “quality MLS starter” range. All to the good…

On the other hand, he’s got precious little experience, will (particularly as a technical and not particularly robust figure) need a fair amount of time to adapt to the league, and in all likelihood doesn’t seem a substantial immediate threat to Woolard’s position. (sigh)

Of course, like all of the new faces, there’s precious little we can really predict here. Certainly he’s the style of player I’ve been pining for at the left back spot, and while ideally he would have a bit more experience, we’ve certainly seen some young players from abroad make an immediate splash in MLS. Also, it’s probably a bit much to ask for both experience and quality given the MLS valuation of fullbacks, right? Here’s hoping the positive noises surrounding Alfredo’s early outings suggest a decent amount of homework was put into lining these guys up.

Now let’s see how the real deal stacks up against his digital self in the Coffee Pot Cup-fest next week.

Oh, and there’s that little detail of actually adding him to the roster to sort out as well …


  1. Just noticed while closing up the various windows and apps used to build this post that Guilherme is also listed as having a reasonable command of English. Interesting...

  2. Merely from the stats, I like him.

    Count me as one not very impressed with Woollard's marking either, and young players at least have a learning curve. Combined with the fact that Bornstein was a successful leftback in MLS, despite being originally a forward, I think is indicative of how important speed and attacking qualities are to being a fullback.

    To make another video game reference, the best fullbacks in the Winning Eleven series had skill sets more in common with Guilherme than Woollard. Patrice Evra, Maicon, you name it, they all were leaning toward speed and attacking.

    Let's see how he does.