CLUB: Atlanta United
YEARS PRO: 5
All season long, Atlanta United have proven the doubters wrong in their quest to immediately become one of the league's most dangerous teams. And no one has had a greater role in that quest than Miguel Almiron.
While Josef Martinez has proven more explosive, and Hector Villalba has shown a flare for the dramatic, Almiron has been Atlanta's motor throughout an engrossing expansion campaign. The 23-year-old Paraguayan international proven equally as capable as a scorer or a provider. And that's been especially important with Martinez missing long stretches due to injury. He's also become a regular fixture for Paraguay, making eight appearances in CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With the Five Stripes still improving together under coach Tata Martino, the scary part is that Almiron could yet find another gear in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs after returning from injury.
What the technical staffers say:
"One of the class players of the league. An unbelievable get for Atlanta … He can score goals, he pushes the game forward, can dribble by you, creates assists … pure offensive threat … he does it all … he’s very left-footed, so certainly a weak spot would be that we would try to push him to his right as much as we can, and get numbers behind [the ball] the ball and try to slow him down … smooth lefty, good on the ball, can beat you with both the pass and the dribble … he’s the full package … when you’re that type of offensive-minded player, working on the defensive transition is going to be hard for a player with those qualities to defend all the time … needs better reactions when his team loses possession … if there’s even a possibility he can use his right foot, he’ll be more dangerous – he’s got a lethal left foot, but at times it’s predictable, you know he’s going left. If he can put some doubt in the opposition he’ll be even more dangerous."