Thiago Almada scores MLS-leading sixth goal from outside 18-yard box


Teams know how dangerous Thiago Almada can be when striking set pieces. Now, they might want to keep an eye on him on the rebound as well. The midfielder made magic happen Sunday, scoring the opening goal against Philadelphia Union on a rebound off his own direct free kick.

It was Almada's sixth goal this season from outside the box. He currently leads MLS in that category.

The play started when Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis was tripped up in a 1v1 situation. Initially, it looked like it might earn Atlanta a penalty kick from the spot. However, after a brief video review the referee determined the foul occurred just on the edge of the 18-yard box.

Almada scooped up the ball and placed it where the official indicated, centrally just outside the box. Philadelphia Union put nine bodies into the box, which looked daunting and proved, for a moment, to be effective. Almada's initial kick was blocked.

But the rebound bounced the World Cup winner's way. Almada seized on the second attempt, hitting a volley with his right foot. The rocket froze Union goalkeeper Joe Bendik and sailed into the right side of the net to make it 1-0 Atlanta.

The Argentine now has eight goals on the season to go along with 10 assists, as of the result Sunday night.

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