The Impact are preparing to face a challenge on Saturday against a side that has been performing well in an intimidating stadium. To get game ready I asked some question to Haris Kruskic of Dirty South Soccer.
1. Ezequiel Barco got his first start last week, what are your thoughts on the young Argentine player so far?
Barco definitely showed flashes of his quality last week and during the preseason. It’s clear that he’s good on the ball, unafraid to take on opposing defenders, and can finish as well as any player on the team after his preseason goal against Minnesota. It’s also pretty amazing considering the talent Atlanta has that Barco seems to already be arguably the best dribbler on the team.
Although Tata Martino has implemented a 3-5-2 for most of the season so far, the general belief is that he’ll return to a 4-3-3 once the expected starting attackers are all fully healthy and Barco will return to his usual left wing spot rather than the second striker position we saw him play last week.
2. Romario Williams, the Montreal Impact 2015 Superdraft first round pick (third overall), has gotten a few minutes here and there since the beginning of the season and recorded a late pk-goal in against LAFC. How has Williams fit into the plans of Tata Martino with all the talent already present in the lineup?
Williams is really getting the most out of his minutes. You mentioned his goal against LAFC, but he was also able to draw the penalty last week against the Galaxy that ultimately clinched three points for Atlanta. He isn’t getting a lot of minutes because obviously Josef Martinez is ahead of him in the striker pecking order and Martino tends to make his substitutions late in matches, but Williams seems to understand his role as a Martinez reliever who comes off the bench very well up to this point.
3. Prior to the season starting there were a lot of talks of a possible departure of Miguel Almiron. What is the latest on his transfer rumors?
3. Not a whole lot of news at the moment. He was linked to Arsenal and Inter Milan last October and Almiron was pretty coy about the rumors when he was asked about them at the end of last season. In my opinion, I think he’s leaving either this summer transfer window for a bigger fee or after the 2018 season.