One of the most exciting times of a new FIFA game's promotion cycle for City fans is the release of the updated ratings of their favourite players, and this year that information has been made available much earlier than usual thanks to unintended leaks in late August.
For a few hours, Xbox users were able to access the new game over a month in advance, but that provided just enough time for the updated Melbourne City player ratings to come to light, courtesy of Twitter user (and City fan) @mcfctommy who was able to source screenshots from a user with early access.
The list of ratings makes for interesting reading, but not every updated value feels like an accurate reflection of the player's true ability or progress over the past year.
Here are the leaked ratings of every City squad member (except Thomas Lam and Valon Berisha, who began FIFA22 rated 67 and 74) from lowest to highest and some immediate personal reactions to each:
James Nieuwenhuizen 50 (+0), Max Caputo 50 (N/A), Luke Oresti 50 (+0)
We'll combine this young trio into one to get it out the way nice and early; 50 is probably about right for all of them. The youngsters all played a key role in City's promotion to the NPL2 this year, and will hopefully be rewarded with some senior game time in 2022/23.
Raphael Borges Rodrigues 54 (+5)
There's something about Rapha that gives me the immediate reaction that he's better than this, even though 54 is probably about right with a bit more logical consideration. It just feels like he's been sniffing around the senior setup for so long, yet he hasn't done too much to justify a higher rating besides his ACL goal last season (which is probably the reason for his +5).
Matt Sutton 55 (+2)
Made two appearances for City in 2021/22 and didn't exactly overwhelm in either of them. The +2 is justified given he'd made only one senior appearance in his career before that, but the 55 rating seems accurate.
Kerrin Stokes 55 (+0)
Stokes' unchanged rating perhaps reflects a minor stall in the 19-year-old's development. The defender played 121 fewer minutes than in 2020/21 and is developing a bit of a reputation as a yellow card magnet, picking up one every 115 minutes played.
Jordon Hall 56 (+0)
Actually played over 100 fewer minutes than Stokes in 2021/22, so probably deserves to be rated the same. It should be interesting to see if one of the two emerges as our clear fourth-choice centre-back this season.
Taras Gomulka 58 (-1)
One of the most bewildering ratings - and changes from his FIFA22 value - in the entire squad. How on Earth did Gomulka deserve a decrease following a season where he deputised admirably for the injured Aiden O'Neill, growing into a reliable defensive midfielder for PK to call upon? Would probably have placed him around 62, myself.
Jordan Bos 59 (+4)
He's received a +4 from last year's rating, but it feels like he could have had even more. One of the most exciting players in the City squad this year, Bos wouldn't have looked out of place alongside Gomulka at 62, though even 60-61 seems fair.
Callum Talbot 60 (+11)
Alright, is there anyone else who occasionally Googles the FIFA rating of new City signings when they're announced, just for a general idea of the calibre of player we're getting? Well, here's the first of our new signings to feature here, and it's a good indication of the form he displayed in his breakout season for Sydney FC that Talbot has received a massive +11 upgrade from 2021.
Tom Glover 63 (-3)
Receiving the biggest downgrade of any player in the City squad, Glover has dropped down from the silver threshold of 65+ and will spend FIFA23 as a bronze Ultimate Team card. Few would argue that Glover was anywhere near his best form from recent years throughout 2021/22, so the three-point decrease was deserved.
Scott Galloway 64 (+0)
The last of City's bronze cards in FIFA Ultimate Team terms, a 64 rating seems about right for the ever-reliable Galloway. He's struggled for game time a bit in the past two seasons, but 2022/23 looks like being his year if he can fend off competition from Talbot for that starting right-back position.
Marco Tilio 65 (+2)
It's easy to get overexcited about Tilio, so I'll frame my opinion in a more rational way: When you factor in that Lam and Berisha will likely be >65, does Tilio really fail to make our top 10 players? I'd have a guess that more fans would place him in our top three than agree that he is so far from the top. 65 feels too low for a player of such immense talent. Tilio doesn't even fit into the 'upcoming prospect' category anymore; he is trusted to perform so frequently, in such big games and in such a variety of positions that he is arguably one of the most important players in the squad. If I had a say in the ratings, he'd be at least a 68.
Richard Van Der Venne 65 (+0)
New signing van der Venne's rating provides at least a surface-level indication of the player that City is receiving. Alongside Tilio, Florin Berenguer and Valon Berisha, it's actually not even clear if 'VDV' will crack PK's best XI this season - let's just hope there are no repeats of the Pucciarelli fiasco.
Aiden O’Neill 67 (+2)
A vital cog in the City machine whose influence is too often overlooked. I'd advocate for a higher rating for the midfielder, but his season-ending injury has probably hampered his chances at a larger upgrade, which is understandable.
Scott Jamieson 67 (+1)
Captain Fantastic arrives in equal-seventh amongst his City teammates and receives a surprising +1 upgrade from his FIFA22 rating. It's unusual to see an older player receive such an increase, but particularly in Jamieson's case because it didn't seem as though he performed to a notably higher level to our Double-winning season prior. Probably could have been left at 66, to be honest.
Curtis Good 69 (+0) and Nuno Reis 69 (+0)
I'll combine these two because it feels quite fitting that our consistent and generally unchanging central defensive pair have received the same rating - just two peas in a pod.
Florin Berenguer 69 (+3)
It doesn't matter how senior you are, when you have your best season in City colours and receive the Player of the Year award, a significant upgrade is absolutely justified. Félicitations, Flo.
Andrew Nabbout 69 (+2)
See, the rating is fair enough, until you realise that he's also received a +2 and begin to question it. On a goal-involvements-per-90-minutes-played basis, Nabbout was actually less impactful than the season prior, and ranked seventh in the 21/22 squad in this metric. With Tilio hot on the tails of the front three, which he is eagerly trying to break into, you also have to question whether Nabbout is really deserving of a rating four points higher than his younger positional rival. Bit of a tough one.
Mathew Leckie 71 (+0)
Deserving of having at least held his 71 overall rating. Leckie recovered well from a slow start to his first season in City blue and finished the campaign with nine goals and four assists. Does it feel a little strange that he is (*spoiler alert*) four rating points lower than Maclaren though? I mean, which one is the nailed-on Socceroo here?
Jamie Maclaren 75 (-1)
Even if I hadn't mentioned him, you already knew who was going to be top of the pile in FIFA23. Likely to be just one of a very small handful of A-League Men's players who will receive gold Ultimate Team cards this season, and deservedly so. To touch on his -1 downgrade, it's potentially a fair call; despite winning the league Golden Boot, Maclaren had his least prolific full season in the ALM since his time at Perth Glory.
It's an unrelated fact, but Maclaren is probably one more strong campaign away from establishing himself as an ALM icon - a 23-goal season would see him become the league's all-time leading goalscorer and the first to score 100 for the same club. Wonder if he'll get a special FIFA Ultimate Team card to celebrate...