Thiago Almada is motivated to help Atlanta United win trophies

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada dribbles the ball during the match against Columbus Crew at Field in Columbus, OH on Saturday Feb.  24, 2024. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada dribbles the ball during the match against Columbus Crew at Field in Columbus, OH on Saturday Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

After scoring five goals to help Argentina qualify for this summer’s Olympics in Paris, next on Thiago Almada’s list of things to do is make the roster for this summer’s Copa America, which will start with La Albiceleste playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Argentina will open South America’s tournament against either Canada or Trinidad and Tobago on June 20.

“It’s a goal to be on the field in that game, and if not, I’ll be there cheering,” he said.

Almada, who also was part of the Argentina squad that won the 2022 World Cup, said helping his country qualify for the Olympics was important to him. The Summer Games are scheduled to start July 26 and end Aug. 11.

Because Almada was focused on the Olympics, he said he didn’t pay much attention to the January transfer window, in which some thought he may be sold to a club in Europe.

Almada said his agent did have some discussions, but he’s happy to be back with Atlanta United, with which he hopes to win more trophies. He reiterated he wants to move to Europe eventually.

“I feel good and with a lot of motivation,” he said. “Last season we weren’t able to reach our goals. So hopefully this season we can.”

Though he missed Atlanta United’s preseason because of the Olympics campaign, Almada started the season-opening match Saturday at Columbus because ... well, he’s Almada, who was named the MLS Young Player of the Year last season after scoring 11 goals with 19 assists.

Almada looked slightly out of sync with his teammates in the first half, but found a groove with Giorgos Giakoumakis, Saba Lobjanidze and Xande Silva in the second half. Almada took two shots, one of which was deflected. Had it not bounced off a Columbus defender, it was arrowing into the top corner to tie the score at 1-1.

After that loss, manager Gonzalo Pineda said the team would use this early bye week to help reintegrate Almada into the squad. Atlanta United will host New England on March 9 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Almada said he’s learning new things every day in a hope to improve this season.

“It’s tough training all week and not having a game on the weekend,” Almada said. “But we’re adapting to it well, we’ll continue to train and just be ready.”

For more content about Atlanta United

Follow me on Twitter/X @DougRobersonAJC

On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now

On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson

Atlanta United coverage on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found

Apple -

Spotify -

Google podcasts -

If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast ... and if you like what you hear, please give us a good rating so we can grow the show. If you have questions about the MLS team, you can email Doug Roberson at, DM him on Twitter @dougrobersonajc or call 404-526-2527.

Stay up to date every day on breaking news, in-depth investigations, politics, sports, entertainment, food and dining and so much more by becoming a subscriber to the AJC. Go to for a very special offer and unlock hundreds of original articles published daily on the refreshed and the new AJC mobile app. Plus, access to our news alerts, subscriber-only events, AJC original shows, films and videos, newsletters, and so much more.

Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 vs. New England, 7:30 p.m.

March 17 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

March 23 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

March 31 vs. Chicago, 3:30 p.m., FOX

April 6 at NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

April 14 vs. Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m., FOX

April 20 vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

April 27 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

May 4 vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

May 11 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

May 15 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

May 18 at Nashville, 1:30 p.m.

May 25 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

May 29 at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

June 2 vs Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FOX

June 15 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

June 19 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 22 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

June 29 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.