Thiago Almada put the league on notice this weekend, and on Tuesday the league responded. The Atlanta United midfielder was named to the first Team of the Matchday presented by Audi on MLSSoccer.com and, as of 4 p.m. ET, was voted MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire. Almada had a memorable performance for the 5-Stripes on Saturday, scoring two goals in stoppage time to rally the home side to a 2-1 win in their season opener.
Almada is the first player for Atlanta United to receive Team of the Matchday honors this season. It's his fifth all-time inclusion. He's also the first player in the league to be named Player of the Matchday in 2023.
The award comes as not a huge surprise after Almada's two goals made club and league history. With his team down 1-0 entering stoppage time, Almada's back-to-back goals in the 93rd and 99th minutes led to the club's first win in a match they trailed after 75 minutes. Almada also became the fourth player in MLS history to score both an equalizing and game-winning goal in stoppage time.
The brace was the first of Almada's career. Both goals are up for AT&T Goal of the Matchday, so go vote now! CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Almada has quickly become a history-maker globally and around the league. As a part of the Argentina men's national team roster, Almada became the first-ever active MLS player to win the FIFA World Cup last fall. (Almada also shared that Lionel Messi is the most famous contact in his phone.)
"I think it's incredible," defender Franco Ibarra said of his teammate's successes. "We're the same age so I've grown up playing against him on the other team. He's always shown that kind of quality. And now to have him here as a teammate, it's a big relief."
Even with his recent string of successes, Almada remains humble. The 21-year-old is originally from the Fuerte Apache neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Almada's dad was in attendance for the match on Saturday, and after scoring, Almada dedicated his goals to the neighborhood and his family back home.
Next up, Almada will lead Atlanta United to their first conference test of the regular season against Toronto FC on Saturday, March 4. We're expecting a loud and rowdy atmosphere, and you don't want to miss it - so secure your seat today!