Miguel Almiron’s time in Atlanta has come to an end after two seasons. Those two seasons felt like a lifetime for Atlanta United fans, experiencing the baby steps of a brand new club before winning a championship in front of their own fans in just their second season. Those memories wouldn’t be possible without Miguel Almiron, who, in some cases, literally dragged Major League Soccer in his wake as he cemented his place as one of the league’s greatest ever players.
The memories that Almiron was able to create in his short time in Atlanta were nothing short of incredible. We could reminisce for hours, but narrowing it down to his top five moments in the Five Stripes will elicit the same emotions.
No. 5: “An absolute peach from the Paraguayan”
Something special is created when a great commentator is tasked with calling a goal scored by a wonderful player. Kevin Egan blessed us with a memorable quote that should live on long in the hearts of Atlanta fans everywhere. With Atlanta United already 2-1 up against the Columbus Crew, Josef Martinez laid the ball off to Miguel Almiron, who curled in a beauty from distance. As Egan put it, “it’s an absolute peach from the Paraguayan!”
No. 4: A rocket in the home opener
Atlanta United welcomed DC United to town in the home opener of 2018. With the home side already 1-0 up in the 72nd minute, Julian Gressel found the dangerous Almiron sitting on the edge of the box. The midfielder let fly from 18 yards out and his shot nestled into the top corner to make it 2-0.
A perfect example of just how dangerous Almiron can be when he has time and space to shoot from distance.
No. 3: Houston, we have a problem
In Atlanta’s debut season, the early part of the campaign saw them play the home games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. That didn’t phase Miguel Almiron, who recorded his first ever hat-trick for the club in style. His first goal was a “peach from the Paraguayan” per Kevin Egan, but the second saw him showcase his ability in tight spaces. Almiron managed to take a touch on the edge of the box, lifting the ball between two defenders, before firing into the top corner. A penalty in the second half saw the midfielder complete his hat-trick in a demolition of the Houston Dynamo.
Smashing it home, Miguel Almirón ⚽#ATLUTD 1 - 0 @HoustonDynamo pic.twitter.com/9mHhZlEwlC— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) May 21, 2017
No. 2: Embarrassing the little brother
Any chance you get to highlight an embarrassing moment of your annoying little brother, you do it. There have already been some great moments for Atlanta against Orlando City, but Almiron’s goal in the 4-0 drubbing last season is one of his best goals for the club. After receiving the ball just around the halfway line, Almiron went on a spectacular solo run which involved taking Jonathan Spector for a walk in the park, before slotting the ball through Joe Bendik’s legs. A goal that showed everything Almiron excels at, as well as embarrassing a bitter rival.
I heard y’all needed some entertainment so here’s Miguel Almiron bullying Orlando City’s best defender and megging Joe Bendik #ATLUTD pic.twitter.com/WFqXmyZNcA— Matt (@MattIanta) July 1, 2018
No. 1: Arrival
No, not the Amy Adams movie.
The arrival of Miguel Almiron will forever be remembered as one of Atlanta United’s greatest achievements. The excitement was evident from the day he was announced and in the two years that followed, Almiron achieved everything and more with the club. The baby-faced midfielder tore MLS defenses to pieces, wowed opposing fanbases and captured the hearts of an entire city. Almiron helped bring a championship to Atlanta and make the city, THE soccer city in the United States. Like that gigantic smile, his impact won’t soon be forgotten.