NASHVILLE - eMLS is back.
Professional FIFA players from 27 MLS clubs spent last week battling for the League Series One title, with Chris Holly of New York City FC claiming the crown. However, one player missing from the knockout rounds was Nashville SC’s Cormac “Doolsta” Dooley.
After a 7-1-6 record in qualifying, Doolsta finished in 13th place, four points off of the top eight that qualified for the livestreamed finals. Despite promising moments, it wasn’t the tournament he would’ve wanted.
“I definitely could’ve done better for sure, there were some bright spots, but overall it was too inconsistent from me,” said Dooley. “I’d win some games five-nil, and then I’d lose one straight after four or five-nil from chasing the game.”
The 2019 eMLS Cup champion has had to deal with unusual circumstances during his time representing Nashville SC: a switch to fully online competition. To cope with COVID-19 pandemic, eMLS competitors all compete online from their homes.
“It’s definitely tougher playing everything online. You know, playing guys on the west coast, we’re not playing on good connections. It’s definitely not ideal but with the pandemic going on it’s the best thing we can get. So the best way is to practice with the guys further away and get used to that.”
Not only is the competition different than ever before, it’s larger and more competitive than ever.
The 2021 eMLS season features 27 different teams, including first-time clubs Inter Miami CF and St. Louis City SC joining this year. The league is growing not only in terms of size, but quality as well.
“Every year the competition is getting tougher,” said Doolsta, who became a professional FIFA player at age 17.
Even with the new challenges and a disappointing start, Doolsta has big expectations for his second season in Electric Gold.
“I expect to do much better in League Series Two, and ultimately I want to push on and push for that eMLS Cup,” he said. “I’ve won it before, I know I can do it again, I just need to practice, keep training, and fix, tweak things in my games and push on.”
Doolsta is ready to reclaim his spot as the top player in eMLS, and knows there are things he has to fix to reach that point.
“I need to sort out my defensive tactics,” he said. “In League Series One I was giving up too many goals and wasn’t getting enough men back … and I need to get a bit calmer. I feel like I was panicking a little bit in a few of the games this week. I just need to stay more composed and mentally be strong.”
Qualifying for eMLS League Series Two presented by Coca Cola begins February 1 with the tournament taking place February 13 and 14, with games streaming on Twitter and Twitch. Follow Doolsta on Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch and follow Nashville SC across our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok channels for club news and updates.