Miguel Almiron goals have come in bunches this season. He netted a brace against Minnesota United back on March 12, and Saturday, he completed a hat trick with an 80th-minute penalty in Atlanta United's 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in front of a sold-out crowd in Atlanta.
Almiron had gone the previous eight games without a goal, and his solution for breaking out of his scoring drought was simple: shoot more. He took six shots against the Dynamo, doubling his previous high of three shots, which he tallied against New York City FC, Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake.
“The coaching staff asked that of me this week,” said Almiron at the post-game press conference. “I know I have to shoot when I have the opportunity and today, thanks to God, I was able to score.”
His manager Tata Martino agreed with his assessment, seconding the fact that his staff had urged him to fire away, early and often.
“We want him to shoot more from medium distance,” said Martino. “Also, we want him to get into the box and take shots there as well. Today he was able to do that.”
Team captain Michael Parkhurst commended Almiron for his speed, his ability to take quick touches in tight spaces, and the power he’s able to get on his shot, all of which was on display for Almiron’s second goal in the 42nd minute.
“[Miguel] was excellent for us,” said Parkhurst. “Not just the goals, the buildup play, coming back to help us out in the second half to build the ball out of the back, his defensive pressure as well.”
Plus, Parkhurst points out, Almiron brings a joy to the field that’s contagious.
“He enjoys life, he enjoys the game, soccer puts a smile on his face,” said Parkhurst. “Miguel’s just a guy who really loves to come to work every day.”