When Philadelphia Union eMLS player Cormac “Doolsta” Dooley takes the stage Saturday for the FIFA eNations Cup, he will likely have some light music playing through his headphones.
Dooley doesn’t have too many superstitions when he gets ready for competitions, like the one this weekend in London where he is representing the United States, but he does have a bit of routine to get into focus.
“There’s not much to it,” Dooley said. “The only thing I really do that helps is listen to music before I play, and even during. That would be the only thing that gets me into focus. I just go about my day regularly. I don’t change up too much.”
What type of music?
“EDM stuff,” Dooley said. “Not the heavy stuff. Like, Kygo and I listen to some Coldplay, more mellow stuff.”
A year after winning an open tournament to become the Union’s eMLS player, Dooley enters eNations Cup ranked 19th in the world.
Even though he’s had a meteoric rise in the gaming world, Dooley still has plenty left to prove.
“I was fortunate enough to win eMLS Cup, and the target on my back didn’t faze me, but it’ll be different now with eNations Cup,” Dooley said. “By winning U.S., a lot of guys don’t really view that as doing anything. You really need to prove yourself on an international stage. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that this tournament.”
When he does get on the stage to play Saturday for the United States in three games against Spain, New Zealand and Mexico, Dooley has an idea of what squad he will choose. He’s got an ideal XI chock full of past and current talent.
“(David) De Gea in goal,” Dooley said. “Back line of Marcelo, (Sergio) Ramos, (Raphael) Varane, (Virgil) Van Dijk. Three center mids, (Luka) Modric, (Ruud) Gullit, (Patrick) Vieira and then probably Neymar at CAM and then Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo up top.”
Legends Ruud Gullit and Patrick Vieira are typically first-choice players for any gamer selecting their lineup.
“Pretty much every person has them two in their midfield no matter what,” Dooley said. “They’d be the big two, and then Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, a few defenders are huge — but Gullit and Vieira are the two midfielders everyone has.”
During the whirlwind between winning eMLS Cup and leaving for eNations Cup, Dooley was honored at the start of the Union’s last home game against FC Dallas April 6.
Dooley has become part of the Union family, whether through simple interaction with the players and manager Jim Curtin or taking them on in FIFA.
“They really make you feel part of the family,” Dooley said. “After I won eMLS Cup, Curtin sent me a text congratulating me and that I was a big part of the family. Ray Gaddis is a huge fan of mine. He’s always tweeting at me. Then even when I was walking off the pitch, Mark McKenzie and Warren Creavalle were giving me shout outs from the bench. It’s a great feeling.”
Of his competitors from inside the club, centerback Mark McKenzie has given Dooley the toughest challenge, if you want to call it that.
“The (Union players) are okay,” Dooley said of their FIFA skills. “McKenzie is actually alright. He’s probably the best I’ve played.”
The interaction with the Union’s first team and his trip to London this weekend for eNations Cup are just a few of the things Dooley couldn’t have imagined happening a year ago, but in 12 months, he’s become one of the top success stories in the FIFA world.
“Last year, I was pretty much a no one,” Dooley said. “I won a Union open tournament, and then to come this far in a year is crazy. My whole performances, not only in eMLS, but internationally, I’ve come a long way and it gives me great confidence going into eNations Cup. I’m ranked 19th in the world now and it’s just an honor to play at these events. It really is a dream come true to compete at all these top level tournaments.”