The second leg of the eMLS regular season is set to take place Sunday in Frisco, Texas at eMLS League Series Two, presented by PlayStation. The tournament will feature a closed-door intra-conference round robin followed by a live streamed single elimination bracket featuring the the top four performers from each conference. Results in League Series Two will help determine final seeding for the eMLS Cup in March.
Houston Dynamo’s own Kid M3mito placed second in last month’s League Series One, suffering his first ever eMLS loss to Philadelphia Union’s Doolsta. However, Kid M3mito heads into the weekend in good position as he remains atop the Western Conference standings.
Before he heads off to Frisco for League Series Two, we sat down with Kid M3mito to discuss his mindset, his approach, and much more.
Some sections of this Q&A have been edited for clarity.
Let’s talk a little bit about your general play before we touch on League Series play. How would you describe your playing style?
When holding possession, I focus on keeping the ball as much as possible while still playing fast and aggressive, I try and utilize one-two touches as much as possible. On defense I try to constantly apply pressure by manually defending whoever is closest to the ball. A lot of guys rely on the CPU to control their defense, but I like to control my players that way I am able to cut their lanes and eventually force them into bad passes
How do you go about selecting a squad?
It all depends on the patch. For League Series One I felt more comfortable with an attacking formation, but with this new patch I am being forced to play more defensively. In general terms, I always model my team depending on how I feel the game itself is evolving throughout the season.
Alright, let’s get more into eMLS specifically. What are some of the things you’ve done over the last several weeks to prepare for League Series Two?
For me it’s always fairly simple, I try and get in as many games against as many highly-skilled players as possible, that’s really what gets me ready. It’s also important to adjust to each patch, obviously. This new patch, for example, has forced me to make some adjustments to my formation and to my squad, the game is much more defense-oriented now so I had to take the time to figure it out.
You’re still unbeaten in Western Conference play. How do you feel going into Western Conference matches in Frisco?
The truth is that nobody can beat me, it’s been proven. The Eastern Conference is much better – they have four or five players competing in EA Global Series events across the world, as opposed to just AlanAvi [of FC Dallas] and I [in the West].
What about Skill Shack [of Vancouver Whitecaps FC]; he played you pretty well in your two games in League Series One. What can you say about your past matchups with Skill Shack?
Honestly, I don't like playing him. He’s incredibly defensive, likes to bring his strikers all the way back and let the CPU control his defenders. It’s very frustrating. But regardless, I know I can beat him, I just tend to struggle a little more with ultra-defensive game styles.
Is there anyone else you’re look forward to playing against?
Doolsta [of Philadelphia Union] for obvious reasons, but other than him I would probably say AlanAvi – it’s usually a very open game. We’re both like to attack and we seem to always have high scoring games. It's fun.
Since you mentioned him, we have to talk about your match with Doolsta. What did you learn about Doolsta’s game during your match?
In some ways he reminded me of myself. He also played with a 4-1-2-1-2 formation and similarly to me, plays really fast. That was our first time matching up, I really didn’t know much about him. Going into this weekend, if we are to face off again, I feel confident in my ability to adjust. I think I’m going with a more defensive formation, possibly a 4-2-3-1, this will allow me to open up the field and take better advantage of my wings.
Does last month’s loss to Doolsta provide extra motivation coming into League Series Two?
I feel like I always have the same mentality when competing, my goal is to win. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to that rematch.
What are your goals for League Series Two and beyond?
For me it’s pretty straightforward, I’m going to Frisco to win. Regarding the rest of the season and the eMLS Cup my mind's on claiming what belongs to me.
You can follow Kid M3mito’s quest to reclaim his standing as the best in eMLS on Sunday, February 17th in person at The National Soccer Hall of Fame at 4:30pm CT or you can watch from home at twitch.tv/emls when the stream goes live at 7:00pm CT.