Miguel Almiron’s future is going to be a big part of the story for as long as he’s in Atlanta United, but his past is in focus following another cool post in The Players’ Tribune.
It’s a cool read, for sure, to examine Almiron’s rise from “too skinny” kid without a club to one of the top prospects this side of the Atlantic Ocean, but the story of why he came to Atlanta is an argument for the “big name” manager (Tata Martino in this case).
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Before the Paraguayan youngster was the talk of the transfer market, MLS Newcomer of the Year, and the No. 1 jersey sale in the league, he was being recruited to the Georgian expansion outlet.
“I didn’t know much about MLS. I didn’t know where Atlanta was. I didn’t know anything. But Tata was manager, and that was all I needed to know.”
Given that Martino arrived not too long before Almiron, the following Tweet makes the point I’ve been trying to make as well as anyone:
It wasn’t the season that Kenwyne Jones had expected in his first Major League Soccer season, but the veteran Trinidad & Tobago striker had himself quite the career.
[ MORE: Miguel Almiron wins MLS Newcomer of the Year ]
Jones, 33, announced his retirement on Monday after boasting an extensive career in England prior to finishing up his playing with Atlanta United.
Atlanta opted not to renew Jones’ contract with the club after scoring twice in 17 appearances this season for the expansion side.
The Trinidadian posted the following message to supporters on Twitter this afternoon.
Jones spent nine seasons in the Premier League, including stints with Southampton, Stoke City and Sunderland.
Additionally, the forward played for Al Jazira from UAE in 2016 before moving on loan to Central in his native Trinidad prior to his arrival in Atlanta’s debut MLS season.
Unsurprisingly, one of Atlanta United’s biggest stars took home some hardware on Monday after a stellar first season in Major League Soccer.
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Atlanta attacker Miguel Almiron was named MLS Newcomer of the Year today, beating out Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic and teammate Josef Martinez for the honor.
Almiron, who joined Atlanta from Argentine side Lanus, netted nine goals and added 14 assists for the Eastern Conference squad in 2017 and helped guide the club to the MLS Cup Playoffs after finishing fifth in the East.
The 23-year-old received an 37.38% average of the vote for the award, which was compiled based on votes from a combination of media members, MLS players and executives. Nikolic finished second with 24.92 percent, while Martinez checked in at number three.
Atlanta United clearly made a big splash in Major League Soccer during its first season, and one of its players sat at the top of this year’s jersey sales list.
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Attacker Miguel Almiron checks in at the number one position for Atlanta, while teammate Josef Martinez is third in the breakdown. Overall, Atlanta boasts five players in the top 25, second-most of any team in MLS.
The only team that had more players? The defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders, who look to be on course to get back to the final this season. The Sounders have six players inside the top 25, including Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro — each of whom are inside the top 10.
Below is the list of 25-most purchased jerseys for the 2017 season, as provided by MLSStore.com.
25. Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
24. Yamil Asad (Atlanta United)
23. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
22. Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
21. Diego Chara (Portland Timbers)
20. Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders)
19. Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
18. Greg Garza (Atlanta United)
17. Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United)
16. Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
15. Hector Villalba (Atlanta United)
14. Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC to Orlando City)
13. Jack Harrison (New York City FC)
12. Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
11. Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders)
10. Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders)
9. Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC)
8. Kaka (Orlando City)
7. Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
6. Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
5. David Villa (New York City FC)
4. Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
3. Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
2. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire)
1. Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)
It was a formality once PST crowned him, but now MLS has joined our esteemed staff in naming Atlanta United’s Julian Gressel as its 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year.
The German-born Gressel is the seventh-straight MLS Rookie of the Year to come from the American collegiate system, joining Jordan Morris, Cyle Larin, Tesho Akindele, Dillow Powers, Austin Berry, and CJ Sapong.
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Andy Najar is the last non-collegiate ROY, winning the award after heading from DC United’s Academy directly into the First Team.
The 23-year-old Gressel came to Atlanta via the SuperDraft after a college career at Providence. The right-sided man had five goals and nine assists as a rookie, adding another goal in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Gressel received better than 53 percent of the vote, 37 points better than second-place finisher Abu Danladi of Minnesota United. Jack Elliott of Philadelphia was third, followed by San Jose’s Nick Lima.