He scored five goals, including three in the playoffs, with six assists. He started and helped the club win the MLS Cup in 2018, scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win, the Campeones Cup and a late entry into the US Open Cup in 2019.
But Escobar did not fit what Heinz wanted. At Velez Sarsfield, Heinz’s side, prior to joining Atlanta United, were able to pass the ball forward more frequently than Franco under former Atlanta United, according to data provided by Bocanegra. In the middle and offensive third, there was a significant difference both statistically and visually between the Velez defenders doing what Heinz wanted with what Escobar did. As an example of the difference in profiles, Bocanegra noted in his offensive runs, which include passes and strides, Escobar was in the 16th percentile for defenders in the MLS in 2018 and 22nd in 2019.
“It doesn’t mean they are better or worse players, it’s just a different picture,” Bocanegra said. “It was a different kind of profile that we look for when we make that decision.”
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