MLS playoffs: Predicting Atlanta United’s 11 vs. Toronto



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson predicts Atlanta United’s starting 11 for Wednesday’s MLS playoff game against Toronto at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The winner will advance to play for the MLS Cup.

FS1’s coverage begins at 8 p.m. The game can be heard on 92.9FM, or you can follow his live coverage on twitter @DougRobersonAJC.

This was Atlanta United’s formation and lineup in its 2-0 win against Toronto in the season’s first meeting:

Atlanta United’s starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Brad Guzan, Brek Shea, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Miles Robinson, Franco Escobar, Darlington Nagbe, Eric Remedi, Hector Villalba, Gonzalo Martinez, Julian Gressel, Josef Martinez.

This was the team’s formation and lineup in its 3-2 loss at BMO Field: Atlanta United’s starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Guzan, Michael Parkhurst, Robinson, Gonzalez Pirez, Shea, Remedi, Nagbe, G. Martinez, Gressel, Dion Pereira, Brandon Vazquez.

I think tonight you will see something much closer to the first game, and exactly what you saw in last week’s 2-0 win against Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals:

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan

Right fullback Franco Escobar

Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez

Centerback Flo Pogba

Left fullback Mikey Ambrose

Defensive midfielder Jeff Larentowicz

Defensive midfielder Darlington Nagbe

Attacking midfielder Pity Martinez

Midfielder Julian Gressel

Midfielder Ezequiel Barco

Striker Josef Martinez

Toronto will likely play with just one striker, Alejandro Pozuelo, who won't play as a typical striker. Therefore, there is no point in having three centerbacks. Should Greg Vanney bring in Jozy Altidore to pair with Pozuelo, you may see Frank de Boer counter by switching to three centerbacks.