The MLS is slowly becoming the hub for developing some quality South American talents into better players. It happened with Miguel Almiron and the process is underway in the case of Cristian Pavon. Another player who can do the same is young Luis Diaz, who is approaching a crucial time in his career now.
Currently at Columbus Crew, the 21-year-old had begun his second season in the MLS before the pandemic stopped the game from moving forward. This was expected to be his real breakout season after having shown glimpses of his quality from wide positions last season. The best betting sites in Australia are tipping Diaz to be the Crew’s MVP this season.
Diaz is a winger by trade and is well capable of playing in any of the sides. The Costa Rican had arrived at the club from his home country’s club Herediano in the summer of 2019. Columbus took on the chance to develop him and improve him, as he had contributed to three goals in his last league season and was already a regular back in Costa Rica.
The MLS provided a low-key way to develop himself and earn a bigger move elsewhere in the future. His first season wasn’t exactly a sparkling one, but it gave him the foundation to go on and make it better.
His first campaign in the United States saw Diaz play 13 MLS games. He contributed to five goals and that was his highest goal-contribution tally in senior-level football. Two were goals, while three were assists. His best performance of the season came against Cincinnati, as he grabbed a goal and an assist in a big 3-1 win away from home.
He spent a big part of the season playing on the right-flank– like he had back in Costa Rica. This continuity helped him.
As per FBref, Diaz had a goal (excluding penalties) plus assists per 90 minutes tally of 0.56 and that is very promising for anyone who played his first season. He also dribbled past 22 players, nutmegging five times. He had an impressive dribbling accuracy of 64.5 percent and it shows how he likes to take defenders on and beat them.
The new season saw Diaz grab one assist in two games, starting one of them. It shows how economical a player he is and makes an impact whenever he is brought on to do so.
Last season, he created 17 shot-creation actions from live-ball situations. He also came up with four shot-creation actions from live-balls and it shows that he isn’t just a dribbler who does that for the sake of it, he has a lot up his sleeve otherwise too.
This shows that there is immense potential in him to become a more well-rounded player. He doesn’t create as many chances from dribbles, but the fact that he creates a lot more from live-balls suggests that he isn’t a raw player at all. He has a lot in his bag that can change things in games. His rate of making an impact in games proves just that.
Whether this season begins or not, this is a crucial time for the Costa Rican. He’s proved himself to be a good contributor to goals and once he starts playing regularly, his output will only improve. The future surely is bright.