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Djordje Mihailovic is unstoppable with CF Montreal. Last season he scored four goals but assisted 16 more (including secondary assists) and this year, he's off to an even better start. He's already scored four goals and assisted three more for Wilfried Nancy's side. The increase in Mihailovic's output was something he knew he needed to add to his game, but it was a conversation with United States men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter that really drove the point home last January when he was in camp with the team. 

Speaking with In Soccer we Trust's Heath Pearce, Mihailovic said, "I don't think I scored enough last year. I think I was dangerous but I wasn't taking chances for myself. And that's one thing I focused on. I was in January camp with the national team and that's the thing that Greg told me is he wanted to see a little bit more goals from me. And I just took that to heart because, as I said, I didn't score enough last year. This thing that I've focused on this year and I started the season great and hopefully, I can keep it going." 

So far, Mihailovic is doing a good job leading Montreal into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. While the team hasn't been as good defensively as they'd like, they've also scored the most goals in the East and the third most goals in all of MLS. With Mihailovic being comfortable in a new city and playing a role that he enjoys, the sky is the limit in Nancy's system. 

It wasn't a given that Mihailovic would find success in Montreal and didn't immediately hit the ground running after making the move from his childhood club, the Chicago Fire. Nancy helped a lot with making that transition easier. It's a big move leaving your hometown and the only professional team you've ever played for and not only going to a new team but living in a new country as Mihailovic did. He admitted that it took a while for him to take advantage of all that Montreal has to offer but Nancy and the team helped him settle. 

That assistance has helped guide Mihailovic not just off the filed but unlocked his best performances between the lines as well. Mihailovic enjoys the positional freedom that he gets playing for Nancy in Montreal.

"I feel the most comfortable when I'm, when I'm more like a free, almost like a seven and a half, in between a winger or a ten, like that space, It's like free space. I come in, I can move around, I can come deep, I can stay high. Now it's and it's a credit to the coaching staff as well for finding this position for me and the team I grew up in Chicago playing." Mihailovic said.  "I played as a six sometimes I played as an eight at times and that was kind of my main position with Chicago as maybe a box-to-box midfielder. Now, last year, I added some end product to my game and this year I'm continuing to do that. So I find myself now comfortable playing towards the goal."

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Not quite a winger and not quite a ten, this is where things get complicated for Berhalter with the national team. One of the things fueling Mihailovic is the drive to make the World Cup but while Mihailovic is doing what was asked and is scoring more goals, you wouldn't be mistaken for thinking that description fits a lot of players in the national team picture. It certainly sound similar to Gio Reyna who has said he sees himself as more of a ten. And both Christian Pulisic and Brenden Aaronson can similarly fit that role. It makes fitting him into the squad hard, but it also provides a clear path into the side given the injury history of not only Reyna but the rest of the attacking crew.

While he hasn't spoken to Berhalrter recently, Mihailovic says he expects to be in contact when the Nations League camp comes around. They've maintained an open dialog that has been nothing but positive, but at the end of the day, if it comes down to form, that's something that's on Mihailovic's side. There were other options when Mihailovic  made the decision to come to Montreal, but this given the responsibility given to him along and the production he's putting up, this move has clearly worked out for the best. It's the kind of move the good ultimately lead to another step forward in his career. but while Europe could be in his future, Mihailovic's focus right now is more immediate. There's silverware to win in Montreal and a World Cup roster in November, and the rest can wait.  

Checkout the full interview on the In Soccer We Trust YouTube page, where you can go for all things USMNT as the team preps for World Cup 2022 in Qatar.