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Final Exams: Yamil Asad

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#SignAsad

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Atlanta United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Yamil Asad opened the season with the first goal in club history and continued to be fantastic the rest of the season, establishing a reputation as an one of the team’s (and league’s) most underrated players, and inspiring a burgeoning #SignAsad movement as he nears the completion of his loan spell from Argentine-side Velez-Sarsfield. Normally, as a player develops a reputation as “underrated”, the constant referencing of his underrated status leads to the player becoming overrated by the sheer brute force of word of mouth. In Asad’s case, he might have been better than any of us realized.

Yamil Asad (2017) - 33 games, 7 goals, 11 assists

What went right this season?

Asad led the team in assists this season, and finished fourth in the league. His seven goals were the fourth most on the team, and soccer analytics website WhoScored.com gives him an average rating of 7.21 out of 10 over 33 appearances. To put that in perspective, the median season rating in MLS was 6.74. Asad’s 7.21 average game score is fourth highest on the team in 2017 behind Josef, Miggy and LGP, but deems him the 20th best player in MLS this season, ahead of players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sacha Kljestan and Justin Meram.

Asad completed 1.7 key passes (a pass that leads directly to a shot on goal) per game, tying him for the team-high with Miguel, and placing him 21st in the league. He also earned plenty of dead ball opportunities for the Five Stripes, drawing three fouls per game, the second highest total in the league.

Defensively, the attacking-midfielder finished fourth on the team in tackles per game with two per contest. LGP, Jeff Larentowicz and Carlos Carmona were the only three ahead of him. Additionally, his 1.2 interceptions per game were highest among attacking ATLUTD players.

In short, the dude we thought was a Superliga reject became a critical piece of the 2017 puzzle and one of the best players in MLS.

What does he need to improve on?

Asad earned himself a bit of an early reputation for being “undisciplined.” Which is, you know, total crap.

To be fair, he picked up the second most fouls per game on the team at 1.7, but that’s a fair trade-off for the defensive numbers you see above, most of which come from unmitigated effort. He could maybe lessen the fouls a tad but that’s nitpicking. His scoring total could potentially be better, but, again, the dude was unexpectedly phenomenal all year. More of the same please.

What role will he play in 2018?

Hopefully he has one. If he’s with the team again, there’s no reason he won’t continue to be instrumental in the left attacking-mid role. #SignAsad

Overall Player Grade: A

#SignAsad