Ever since earning the title of first goal-scorer in club history, Atlanta United’s Yamil Asad has been turning heads around the league. But his two goals so far this year are not the center of attention. Joining the MLS expansion side in January of this year on a season-long loan from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield, Asad's poise on the ball, superb vision and exceptional passing ability have stolen the show.
After his assist to Tito Villalba in Saturday’s victory over the Crew, the 22-year-old South American now sits atop the league in the assist column, along with Toronto’s Victor Vazquez, with eight total on the year.
“I’m happy but it’s just a statistic, nothing more,” said Asad through a translator. “However, it’s always important, to keep adding to it, and it’s one of my strengths, assists and passing. I don’t worry as much about scoring goals, I prefer to leave that to the rest of my teammates.”
Feliz!! Vamos en el camino correcto. Gracias a todos los fans por estar siempre alentando. Vamos ATL !! pic.twitter.com/q5nxg7ikzK— Yamil Asad (@YamilAsad11) June 18, 2017
Those teammates have done nothing but exceed those expectations as the expansion side boasts a 31-goal tally on the year, the highest of any MLS club so far in 2017. But it’s not been a cake walk, and Asad admits the league’s character and caliber is comparable to that of the Argentine Primera Division.
“They’re both quite competitive,” he says. “For me it’s the same, very intense, fast, not a lot of time on the ball. The truth is they’re pretty similar and the fans are also intense.”
Asad continues to grow and develop into a brilliant playmaker as he gains experience in MLS. But to succeed in such a fast-paced, demanding league, it helps to have a coach like Tata Martino, who is renowned for his possession-oriented system highlighted by quick ball movement and high press.
“I like playing for Tata, for me he’s the best coach in Argentina,” claims Asad. “He’s coached in Argentina and Barcelona, so he has a lot of experience.”
Martino, Asad & company will look to build on the momentum from the win over Columbus and continue their goal-scoring run as they head to D.C. United for a midweek Eastern Conference matchup on Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EST and you can catch all the action on FOX Sports South, FOX Sports GO or MLS Live.