One of the players to watch out for in the current setup of MLS players is the Argentinian Maximiliano Urruti of Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact. The former MLS man has been a vital figure of the Impact’s attacks ever since he arrived in 2019. Urruti has already scored three goals in two league appearances this season, making him one of the highest-rated players in the league.
In this scout report, we’ll be analyzing how Maximiliano Urruti contributes more than just goals and assists in the Montreal side. We’ll be doing the tactical analysis of his moves, his positioning, and how he fits into Thierry Henry’s tactics.
Coming from the rich Argentinian footballing heritage, Maximiliano Urruti is a natural striker, who can also occupy an attacking midfielder’s role. Under the new coach’s tactics, Urruti has a little more to do than just a poacher, and his heatmap shows his bit part.
As we can see, Urruti’s heatmap is inclined more towards the middle of the pitch than the advanced areas, thanks to his abilities to organize plays and become more of a second forward. Henry’s step-up has seen Montreal line-up in a 3-4-2-1, where Urruti partners with Romell Quioto just behind the lone forward. We’ll further discuss how Urruti has been crucial for this setup due to his abilities as the article progresses.
Ability to play between the lines
Maximiliano Urruti is a player that is exceptionally well-suited to exploit spaces that the opposition creates. Urruti is capable of moving around the opposition half, looking to capitalize on the half-spaces to initiate a pass or a progressive run to facilitate the fellow attackers.
In such instances, Urruti plays between the two layers that the opposition put up. Thierry Henry’s 3-4-2-1 has enabled him to play between the space that the opposition defence and opposition midfield have between them. This can create two situations, that benefits the overall squad. Firstly, Urruti can draw a defender to disbalance the defensive shape. Secondly, if the opposition midfielder opts to drop down, Montreal Impact can establish a numerical advantage in the midfield.
In the shown instance, Urruti is in a position between the two lines, ready to receive a pass and turn to look out for options or to dribble past the opponents. In this case, he turns, draws two players at him, and creates a pass to the wide player, who can receive the ball before the chasing defender does it.
This ability to play between the lines and spaces makes Urruti a player than can land him into goalscoring position as well as creating such situations for himself and the team.
Ability to link-up and drop deep
Instead of just poaching inside the box and waiting for the ball to come in, Urruti is frequently dropping down, doing a lot of work to facilitate his team’s transition to put a hand on shift. In addition to tracking his side of the opposition, Urruti drops deep to create moves and link-ups to land a goal-scoring opportunity. Similarly, Urruti boasts an 83% pass accuracy and high rate of forward passes to the final third.
Montreal Impact have been hugely benefitted by Urruti’s composure at the middle. In situations where the team needs an extra attacking midfielder to boost creativity, Urruti can come-up as a reliable option. While the defensive side of play has always been the Impact’s darker side, frequently blowing up leads and conceding, Urruti has been able to help the team in generating frequent attacks. In many occasions, Montreal Impact have been able to overturn or at least steal a draw.
Dropping deep and making progressive runs, Urruti manages to get himself on a position where he has multiple options. As the instance shows, Urruti receives the ball from his half, makes a run towards the box.
Urruti has multiple passing options here which directly relates to numerous opportunities to attack the opposition post. The move ends with Urruti opting to play the ball to the wider option, dispersing the saturated defence and hence, opening the central space for himself to get in a goal-scoring position.
Smart-plays and awareness
There’re no doubts on the level of talent that this Argentinian player possesses. Urruti can dribble, can shoot and can find spaces. What makes him unique and smart, here, is his awareness of being able to think and decide when to dribble and when to pass, depending on the situation of the play.
On the one hand, this makes him a vital player, and on the other, it makes Montreal Impact able to make the most out of the chances they create.
Awareness can be well-explained by the above instance. Urruti, surrounded by defenders, receives a pass from Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla. At this instance, when he is carefully marked by a defender and has only that person to beat, he could turn and attempt to dribble past the defender in a solo attempt.
Instead, this is what Urruti does: Passes it to Tabla who’s making a run. This shows two probable intentions: utilizing Tabla’s pace and making things easier for him to beat his advanced defender.
The move ends-up with Tabla making a run and Urruti positioning himself centrally for support. This way, Montreal Impact can get a shot on target and create a deadly chance.
Having a forward of this calibre can hugely benefit Henry’s future aspirations. Urruti has displayed a similar level of awareness on his set-piece taking ability and deciding when to shoot and when not to. This can be seen in his passing too as his smart-plays have always had two benefits: finding a well-positioned teammate and giving room to position himself in support of that player.
The ability to make runs and shoot
It’s inevitable when we’re analyzing an Argentinian forward, and we’re not talking about the ability to make runs and shoot. Urruti has been a prolific scorer for the Impacts side, as the Argentinian has already netted three goals in two appearances before the pause.
Not only is he able to arrange plays, but he’s also able to make them decisive. Making runs from the back of the centre-backs, correctly shooting them from advanced positions is a well-round feature that Urruti brings to this Montreal side. As a result, he’s able to receive balls from the midfield and convert them into the back of the net. In addition to turning tap-ins and rebound balls as a result of his positional awareness, Urruti is capable of detecting spaces to get inside.
In this very instance, Urruti makes run from the back of the centre-back, to receive the ball in the marked area. This doesn’t end only here, as Urruti is left with a job to finish it off. However, the Argentinian makes progress, accelerating forward and shooting from a tight angle.
Utilizing his shot-taking power and accuracy, he scores. This is a common sight, as the Argentinian frequently converts long and tight chances into goal.
Maximiliano Urruti has been a valuable addition to the Montreal Impact side ever since he made his transfer from FC Dallas. The Argentinian has a head with talent and will be vital for the Thierry Henry’s team that aspires to excel in future and make it to the play-offs. We’ll have to wait until the play resumes to see the Argentinian hit the pitch again, but he has a lot to offer under the Frenchman’s tactics.
As this tactical analysis pointed out, Maximiliano Urruti is more than just a contemporary forward, but an asset to the Montreal setup. Provided that he has a manager who’s here to prove, Urruti has only one way to go – forward.