He’s captured the hearts of Atlanta, and now the league at large. Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón was announced as number 1 in Major League Soccer’s 24 under 24 rankings on Thursday. The annual list compiled by league writers ranks the performance and future prospects of the best players in MLS under the age of 24. As a newcomer to the league this year, this is the 23-year-old Paraguayan’s first time being selected in the list, and the third Atlanta United player named in the countdown.
Almirón spent the early parts of his career between the top flights of the Paraguayan and Argentine leagues. He signed with Paraguayan powerhouse Cerro Porteño at age 14 before moving to the Argentine Primera División side Lanús and later becoming a fixture in the Paraguayan National Team.
He became the second Designated Player in Atlanta United history when he signed for the club back in December of 2016, and has taken the league by storm. He’s been named MLS Player of the Week twice, selected in the MLS Team of the Week seven times, and has won the MLS Goal of the Week award three times. He also became one of three Atlanta United players – alongside Greg Garza and Michael Parkhurst – named to the MLS All-Star roster in the team’s first season.
Miguel has combined eye-popping speed on the ball with some of the most creative passing in the league and a relentless work ethic that has led to him being called “the heartbeat” of the Atlanta United team by his teammates. While he’s had plenty of moments that force Atlanta United fans out of their seats, his hat trick performance against the Houston Dynamo on a rainy night at Bobby Dodd Stadium may be the most memorable of them all.
The Atlanta faithful now know him as “Miggy”, a testament to how much he’s adhered himself to the club and its fans in just his first season in the league. One of the premier players in MLS this year, Almirón has earned a well-deserved spot at the top of the 24 Under 24 rankings.