Games Played: 31 Appearances, 30 Starts
One of the last building blocks added to the inaugural roster, Carlos Carmona was a bit of a surprising signing. It’s not often you see a player of his caliber and pedigree sign in Major League Soccer in the tail end of their prime and not require a Designated Player slot. Thus the magic of Tata Martino’s recruitment powers and Atlanta’s technical staff doing their homework. Overall, it was a very workmanlike season for the Chilean. He and Jeff Larentowicz formed a formidable midfield partnership that helped the Five Stripes thrive and make the playoffs in their first year.
What went right this season: While Larentowicz got most of the praise as Atlanta’s “unsung hero” Carmona was just as important alongside him. His work rate and determination to win the ball back was ferocious. Countless times throughout the season he’d win a last second tackle or pull off a clutch interception to break up an attack and start a counter. While his efforts don’t show up in the highlight reels often, his contributions are vast and crucial.
What he needs to improve on: He’ll be 31 years old when the 2018 season start. What you see is what you get from Carmona. He won’t be improving on much of anything at this stage of his career. In a perfect world, he would show a little more discipline and avoid stacking up yellow cards. He could also improve his range of passing from the midfield. Very rarely did we see him try to find a pacy attacker over the top with pass. He has that skill in his locker and I’d like to it utilized more with the speed we have in attack.
What role will he play in 2018: It’s hard to see his role changing at all barring something unforeseen happening. He’s a vital cog to the Atlanta machine and he should be the team’s engine for at least another few seasons.