We’ve been talking about about Yamil Asad since D.C. United’s move to acquire the Argentine attacking midfielder went public. Now that a sequence of deals have been concluded — one with Atlanta United for his MLS rights, a second to settle loan terms with Velez Sarsfield, and finally with Asad himself concerning his salary — we wanted to hear from an Asad expert about what to expect from the new guy. Dirty South Soccer’s Rob Usry has set aside his dismay that Asad is playing for the Black-and-Red to fill us in:
If you’re reading this, that means that Yamil Asad is officially a D.C. United player and I’m currently crying while in the fetal position in my bath tub. Congratulations on acquiring a fine player for your club and I hate you all.
One look at MLSSoccer.com’s stats page can tell you all you need to know about what you’re getting from a productivity standpoint. While Asad isn’t a superstar, he’s capable of being an integral part of your club and more importantly, he’s proven he can do it in MLS. His seven goals and 13 assists are only the beginning of the story of how valuable he can be.
Ask any Atlanta United fan what they loved about Yamil and 9 out of 10 will tell you the same thing: His incredible work rate.
No one will work harder for the cause than Yamil will. Throughout Atlanta’s inaugural season he constantly put in admirable shifts week in and week out. Even when he wasn’t in the best form personally, he was never a detriment to the overall effort thanks to his engine and desire to help the team.
Asad’s high work rate both attacking and defending fit Tata Martino’s high pressing style like a glove. Countless times his pressure resulted in a turnover for Atlanta and a chance in the attacking end. Whether or not that translates to Ben Olsen’s desired style of play is to be seen, but you can bet that no matter what Asad will give maximum effort for every minute he’s on the field.
It was that selflessness that won over us Atlanta fans. However, it also helped that he’s pretty darn good at soccer too. His attacking prowess around the goal is adequate. If he gets a clear cut chance, you’ll like his chances of putting it away. His playmaking ability is where he really shines. Up until the final month of the season he was among the league leaders in assists. His throughballs to find other attackers making runs in on goal are one of his best attributes. He can make the pass through several defenders that no one else on the field can see.
Early in 2017 there were some concerns about Asad’s maturity as a player. An elbowing incident against Toronto FC saw him sent off. A few weeks later it happened again against ... guess who ... D.C. United.
Needless to say, there were worries about his ability to follow the rules. Then something weird happened. He returned from his suspensions and learned his lesson. He was a model teammate from then on and proved that he could change his ways. That show of maturity and willingness to adapt really won over some fans.
Yamil Asad isn’t a perfect player. He’ll get on your nerves from time to time with his sporadic form but he’ll never hurt your team thanks to his incredible work ethic. He’s the type of player that you unconditionally love if he’s on your team and absolutely hate if he’s on the opposite side.
While he may be playing for the enemy this season, I think I speak for the majority of Atlanta United fans when I say it’ll be nearly impossible to hate him. He won our hearts with his great play and dedication to the club. I guess this means D.C. is now 4-0 against Atlanta. Enjoy him and take care of him.
Thanks to Rob for overcoming his melancholy to tell us more about United’s new #22. Follow him on Twitter at @RobUsry.