From spectacular strikes to pristine passes to 40-yard recoveries and everything in between, the reigning MLS Newcomer of the Year has been nothing short of brilliant this season.
Atlanta United’s Miguel Almirón has dazzled the league time and time again with his energy and magic on and off the ball. But more importantly he’s been a key contributor in their rapid climb up the table early on this season, which currently has them sitting 2nd in the Supporters’ Shield standings with a game in hand. Since his club’s opening loss in Houston, the Paraguayan international has scored or assisted in all but one match through their current seven-game unbeaten stretch.
Not only has he helped his team rise to the top in points, but he’s doing it by leading in a plethora of individual categories of his own. Along with teammate Josef Martinez, Almirón’s six goals holds the joint lead for goals, while he’s also tallied four primary assists – the most in MLS as well. Spearheading a team that loves to maintain possession, his 212 passes in the attacking third are 48 more than the next highest in the league. And it’s fair to say he’s not shy of taking efforts towards goal either, with his 46 shots 12 more than his closest competitor.
The offensive statistics speak loudly, but his defensive work rate shines and his consistently complete stellar performances have been recognized, already earning several MLS awards. First, his upper 90 blast in their home opener that helped lift Atlanta over D.C. won the vote for Goal of the Week back in March. Then in April, his assist against NYC, followed by his game-sealing penalty in L.A. and his brace against Montreal earned him three consecutive MLS Team of the Week honors.
But his April capstone performance in their 4-1 comeback win over the Impact gained him more than just Team of the Week recognition as he was also deemed the MLS Player of the Week.
The 24-year-old Paraguayan who topped the league’s 24-under-24 list last season and earned himself a spot in the 2017 MLS Best XI has shown no signs that his first year is his best. The #10 has proven to be one of the most exciting playmakers the league has ever seen, and he’s firmly in control at the ATL helm once again. With seven matches unbeaten, Atlanta and Almirón are riding quite the hot streak. And week-by-week, the man they call Miggy continues to light the league ablaze.