ATLANTA, GEORGIA—Atlanta United young midfielder Thiago Almada has finished in second place in the voting for the 2022 Major League Soccer Young Player of the Year Award. Almada scored 17.27% in the player, media and club votes to finish second behind winner FC Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira, who scored 32.40%.

In his first MLS season, the Argentine midfielder proved why he’s one of the division’s most gifted young players by tallying six goals and 12 assists. The 21-year-old concluded the season tied for seventh in MLS with 12 assists and sixth in chances created with 80, earning him the No. 2 spot on the league’s “22 Under 22 list.” Almada made a total of 29 MLS appearances, 25 of which he started, and he tied for the most goals and assists in a single season in club history with four games with at least one goal and an assist.

During the 2022 season, Almada scored an impressive number of goals, starting with the first MLS goal of his career in just his second game against Montreal on March 19 to earn his first of three MLS Goal of the Week awards. He scored and assisted in back-to-back games in two draws against New England on May 15 and Nashville SC on May 21, respectively. On August 13, Almada scored a right-footed goal against FC Cincinnati to earn his second MLS Goal of the Week award. He also provided an assist in that game.

The following week, on September 10 and 14, he scored the game-winning goal in each of Atlanta’s triumphs over Toronto FC and Orlando City SC, giving him his third MLS Goal of the Week award. All of his goals came from outside the penalty area.
Five Team of the Week accolades resulted from his performances (Weeks 11, 12, 25, 30, 31). Almada demonstrated that he was one of the top creators in MLS in addition to his ability to score goals. Against Real Salt Lake on July 13 and Charlotte FC on April 10, he produced a season-high six opportunities, giving him at least five chances in each of the five games.

As the team conducted final preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Almada received his first call-up and made his Argentina national team debut against Honduras in September, drawing accolades from Argentina captain Lionel Messi. He was only the second player from the MLS to be called up to the senior national team of Argentina (Pity Martnez, 2019).