Thanks for the clear and concise explanation. Those controls / AI issues are probably obvious to players familiar with that other game you mentioned. But otherwise, it's likely many players will suffer the same confusion I had.
So a brief explanation would be useful in the game itself -- maybe on the intro page, or maybe on a separate HELP screen. It's dangerous to assume all players will understand these things. (Especially dense players like me.)
In any event, I played the game again and did better this time. I haven't scored a goal yet... but I'm an American, and we suck at soccer.
Actually I've seen a couple of American matches (in the 1994 World Cup), and you were quite good!
Anyway thanks again for your review, I'll extend the game with some game info and hints.
The active player (as you probably noticed) is the one with the yellow circle around him. The small arrow on the circle marks the closest team member. Team members are also AI controlled. The closest member to the ball gets the active player.
The "up" key moves the player to the direction he is facing. The "left" and "right" keys rotates him relative to the actual direction.