To go all Grover on you, I will warn you before you reach the end of this sentence that my predicted 11 for Atlanta United in its Campeones Cup clash with Club America on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN2) is going to be very, very wrong.
Because I have a bit of a blindspot for the importance of this event, no matter how many times Darren Eales, Frank de Boer, Miguel Herrera and the players from both teams stress that it’s a chance to win a trophy.
Big blindspot. Big.
A lack of history, for starters. This will be the second game. Tigres defeated Toronto last year in the first Campeones Cup.
The competition with other tournaments is another. There is already the Champions League and now the Leagues Cup. The first is mostly teams from LIGA MX and MLS. The second is exclusively filled with those teams.
Third is the context. It’s one game. While it is a trophy, should Atlanta United win it certainly doesn’t mean that MLS is better than LIGA MX. Count the trophies and head-to-head results. Then uncover your eyes and exhale.
But anyway, here I go:
Goalkeeper Alec Kann. Time to give Brad Guzan a rest. Kann deserves a start.
Centerback Michael Parkhurst
Centerback Miles Robinson
Centerback Flo Pogba
Right wingback Franco Escobar
Left wingback Dion Pereira
Defensive midfielder Jeff Larentowicz
Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi
Attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco
Attacking midfielder Pity Martinez
Striker Josef Martinez. de Boer said Villalba can only go about 45 minutes. There isn’t another healthy striker on the roster.
Herrera already provided his starting 11:
Goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez
Centerback Bruno Valdez
Centerback Carlos Vargas
Fullback Paul Aguilar
Fullback Jorge Sanchez
Defensive midfielder Guido Rodriguez
Attacking midfielder Sebastian Cordova
Right winger Renato Ibarra
Left winger Andres Ibarguen
Center forward Roger Martinez
Center forward Henry Martin
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