Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada is putting the league and the world on notice with a senasational first four matches of the season, highlighted by his display Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a 5-1 romping of the Portland Timbers that earned the Argentine his second Player of the Matchday and Goal of the Matchday awards.
⚽⚽— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 20, 2023
Thiago Almada is on another level right now, y'all. pic.twitter.com/MiTJeDWWAL
No stopping Thiago Almada right now. pic.twitter.com/nxmTYxCIFq— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 20, 2023
Almada won the award with 88.6 percent of the vote.
Was it even up for debate?— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 22, 2023
Thiago Almada locks in this week's @ATT 5G Goal of the Matchday for the second time this season. https://t.co/55kwOGBgNo pic.twitter.com/Qx73gna18B
Through four games, Almada leads MLS in goals (4), assists (4) and total goal contributions (8). In fact, Almada has twice the amount of goal contributions as any non-Atlanta United player in MLS (Caleb Wiley has 5). Atlanta United has scored 11 goals this season, and Almada has either scored or assisted 8 of them.
In other words, he is the absolute premiere player in MLS, and it shows not only with the level of output described above, but the quality. Despite winning both of these awards after Matchday 1 thanks to his two stunning late goals, his free kick to end the first half Saturday surpassed them all.
And while this is all great fun to watch, it’s also evident how hard he is working for the team. He led Atlanta United players Saturday in total touches with 89, more than the combined total of the other two starting central midfielders Franco Ibarra and Amar Sejdic.
Here’s to continued excellence and health so that we can watch more of this kind of brilliance throughout the season.