Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron on Barco and his role

8:06 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 Homepage

Miguel Almiron outperformed perhaps everyone’s expectations except for those from Atlanta United’s front office last season with nine goals and 14 assists.

He was in the running for the MVP Award until a hamstring injury sidelined him for a few games in a decisive September.

Still, Almiron was named the MLS Newcomer of the Year and stayed in the transfer news in the offseason because of alleged interest from teams in Europe as well as his story in the Players’ Tribune.

He could be even better this season because he has that year of experience of playing in MLS, the travel demands, and the American culture.

Should Almiron surpass last year’s performance, it’s likely that he will move on to a team in Europe, which he has said is his dream.

Q. Are you healthy?

A. Yes. Four weeks. Against Toronto, I was back to 100 percent.

Q. How was your offseason?

A. Very good. Thanks to God. I just enjoyed time with family and friends.

Q. With Ezequiel Barco coming, who can play left or center, do you have a preference where you play?

A. I don’t have a preference. I just play wherever the coach tells me to play.

Q. How do you see your role with Darlington Nagbe coming?

A. I don’t think my role changes, but they are very good players and will bring very good things to the club. I think with those guys we will feel even better on the field.

Q. The team scored 70 goals, and added a lot of firepower. How good could this offense be, especially with another year under Martino?

A. We just have to work and improve on everything we did last year. A good attack and a good defense and I think we have to be compact on each of those lines to improve on what we had last season.

Q. What are some personal goals you have coming into this season?

A. First, to help the team and just to keep improving.

Q. Who of the new players are you looking forward to seeing train or practicing with?

A. I’m excited to play with all of the guys. I think the club made a big effort to bring in good guys this offseason. I think all of those guys will make us better and I’m excited about playing with them.