Miguel Almiron’s stock continues to rise. Last week, he had a hat trick against the Houston Dynamo, Atlanta United’s second of the season, en route to being named league Player of the Week. On Sunday, after two more goals in the team’s victory over New York City FC, he has been named MLS’ Player of the Week once again, as voted on by the National Association of Soccer Reporters. Almiron is the first player to win the honor in back-to-back weeks since Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco accomplished the feat two years ago.
In the 16th minute of Atlanta’s 3-1 win over NYCFC on Sunday, Tito Villalba played a perfect ball ahead in the box to Julian Gressel. Gressel’s cross found the foot of Almiron, who settled it and knocked it past a diving Sean Johnson for the match’s first goal. Just seven minutes later, Gressel dispossessed defender Alexander Callens, drew Johnson away from goal and crossed it to Almiron, who didn’t miss the open net chance. The Paraguayan could have had a second-straight hat trick if not for an absolute screamer in the second half that ultimately sailed off frame.
Almiron’s goal total now stands at seven, two clear of Tito Villalba and Josef Martinez for the team lead. He is tied for fourth in the league with four other players and is just two shy of moving into second place with Houston’s Erick Torres. The Chicago Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic sits alone in first with eleven.