Almada, Atlanta United fifth in MLS East

Thiago Almada celebrates after scoring a goal off a penalty kick in the early minutes of a key match with the Philidelphia Union. The five stripes went on to win 2-0. // Photo courtesy of Atlanta United

Atlanta United has had positive results as of recent with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United. These positive results are in large part due to homegrown Tyler Wolff and Nick Firmino. Wolff came out of the most recent matches with two more goals upping his tally to four on the season. Firmino got his first goal of the season in stoppage time against NYCFC to snatch a draw for the 17s. Thiago Almada was brilliant, as always, with a goal and an assist in the match against Philadelphia, propelling the team to a 2-0 win.

Atlanta United started off the most recent stretch of games with a convincing 3-1 win over D.C. United thanks to goals from Wolff, Andrew Gutman and Giorgos Giakoumakis. Giakoumakis has been on fire since arriving in the United States and is not looking to slow down any time soon.

After the win over D.C. United, the 17s scraped out a 2-2 draw thanks to a goal from debuting Firmino in the dying seconds of the game. The five stripes then fell 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls but promptly bounced back against a strong Philadelphia Union side with a 2-0 win.

The Atlanta United Academy has played a major part of the success that the 17s have been having this season. Caleb Wiley, Wolff, Firmino, Machop Chol, Ajani Fortune and Noah Cobb have all contributed to the success of Atlanta. Wiley has by far been the standout performer, cementing himself at Gonzalo Pineda’s side thanks to consistent play. Wolff has stepped up when his number has been called, contributing a goal every 78 minutes. Chol has stepped into the hole that Luiz Araujo left seamlessly while Firmino and Cobb have performed well when necessary.

Homegrown players have helped Atlanta United stay on course, but Thiago Almada, the best Argentinian magician in the MLS, will be what pushes Atlanta United to the top. This season Almada has been near unstoppable for the opposition, racking up 10 assists and 8 goals. The sheer number of goal contributions is a piece of what makes Almada so good, but his shooting range takes him to the next level. Almada has scored six goals from outside the box with half of them being from free kicks. Almada has been the best player for Atlanta United, if not the entire MLS.

Atlanta United has had so better form recently but will be looking to improve further before the All Star break. Atlanta will be represented by both Giakoumakis and Almada thanks to their incredible records in front of goal. Both of them will hope to go into the break off the back of some positive results for the team.