Chara pivotal to slowing down Almiron in MLS Cup final - Friedel

The Portland Timbers will need to slow down Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron in Saturday’s MLS Cup final and Diego Chara will be “pivotal” in their efforts, according to New England Revolution head coach Brad Friedel.

The Atlanta No.10 has reportedly drawn interest in the Premier League, with Saturday’s season decider possibly his last for the MLS side, and Friedel sees him as an important figure in the match, even more so than the new reigning MVP.

Atlanta boasted the best attack in MLS this season, scoring 70 goals in 34 games, en route to finishing with the second-best record in the league this year, just a point behind the New York Red Bulls.

But even the Red Bulls were unable to slow the Five Stripes in the Eastern Conference finals, losing 3-0 in the first leg en route to a 3-1 aggregate loss.

Friedel has first-hand experience in dealing with that attack, with his Revolution side playing Atlanta to a 1-1 draw at home in May and then losing 2-1 on the road in October, and outlined how best to slow their output.

Allstate teamed with the Alianza U Foundation to award four college-bound soccer player $5,000 scholarships, and who, with Friedel, led a skills clinic and presented participants with tickets to the MLS Cup final.

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