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The Daily Dirt, January 30: One to watch for United

Miguel Almirón could be the breakout star in 2017

Miguel Almirón will need to get used to media attention as Atlanta United’s potential breakout star.
(@ATLUTD)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson posted his first interview with Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón this morning. In it, he mentioned how Almirón has been a star so far at Atlanta United training in Bradenton. While he’s young, he could be the most important factor in Atlanta’s success in 2017.

Almirón is the type of player that we have not seen in Major League Soccer often, possibly ever. He is not the big-time goal scorer or the guy who will rack up tons of assists. He is a player who will galvanize the midfield, but not in a defensive manner. I have often used a description of his game from an Argentine journalist to describe what he will bring to the team, he is a “flying 8”.

While this is his strong suit, he has the quality to do quite a few different jobs for Tata Martino’s squad. He can slide out to the left if Martino likes the match-up there. He can play by himself in an attacking central midfield role ahead of two defensive midfielders. For his age, he has quite a bit of experience and tactical knowledge.

However, Almirón is best as an attacking box-to-box midfielder. His anticipation and quickness will allow him to jump passing lanes. His speed in dribbling will fit Tata Martino’s “verticalidad” style very well where he wants to get the ball forward into the attacking half as quickly as possible. Don’t judge his impact strictly by goals and assists, Almirón brings so much more to the table.


Domestic

Bruce Arena’s second stint with the USMNT gets underway with a 0-0 draw with Serbia (Stars and Stripes FC)

Typical January rust in yesterday’s USMNT match (MLS)

Trying to establish a real concussion protocol (FourFourTwo)

More than 1,000 fans show up for the Houston Dynamo’s open training session (Official)

Former Atlanta Silverbacks goalkeeper appears to be headed to San Francisco Deltas:

International

Jose Mourinho reveals that he turned down the Chinese Super League (FourFourTwo)

Local