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Atlanta United Report Cards: Tito Villalba

Rough year, but what went right?

MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Round One-New England Revolution at ATLANTA United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Hector “Tito” Villalba

Position: LW, RW

Games: 27 played, 10 starts (all competitions)

Goals: 1

Assists: 3

What went right this season?

It is honestly hard to say what did go right. He started 9 out of the first 12 MLS games because of Ezequiel Barco’s international duty and injuries, showing the flashes of his old self but failing to do so consistently. He was always Frank de Boer’s first or second sub and sometimes pushed the team through a win with his work rate or help the team equalize or win.

Some games Villlalba would do his job right, helping the team offensively. For example, when Atlanta was tied 1-1 with San Jose, de Boer brought on Tito, and he completely lit up the left-hand side which helped Atlanta win the match 3-1. Even when on the bench, Tito was focused and ready to help the team, whether it was offensively or defensively, he was FDB’s wildcard.

What does he need to improve on?

Not really something you can improve on, but staying healthy is definitely a start for Tito. Knee injuries have stopped him from showing the world the Tito that our fans loved. If he can rest that knee and get himself 100% healthy, we can expect him to come back with that decisive pace, dribbling, and finishing.

An aspect of his game that he can improve on is decision making. Many times Tito made the wrong decision, whether it was shooting instead of passing or vice versa. This has a lot to do with the lack of confidence because he hasn’t been a regular starter for about a year now. Still, if he can just slow down and make better decisions, it can help him and his teammates old or new.

What role will he play in 2020?

As sad is it makes many us here at DSS, Tito is most likely going to leave Atlanta United for another opportunity elsewhere. So instead of talking about his role in 2020, let’s just say thank you. Thank you, Tito, for helping push the rise of soccer here in Atlanta to what it is today. Thank you for bringing us happiness, excitement, and great memories.

Grade: D