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Thiago Almada wins MLS Goal of the Matchday, Player of the Matchday because of course he did

MLS’s star of the season is putting his name in lights

MLS: Portland Timbers at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Almada won the award with 88.6 percent of the vote.

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.