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Predicting Atlanta United’s 11 vs. New York Red Bulls in MLS tourney

Atlanta United players hold a Martinez jersey as they take the field to play FC Cincinnati in a MLS soccer match on Saturday, March 8, 2020, in Atlanta.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Atlanta United players hold a Martinez jersey as they take the field to play FC Cincinnati in a MLS soccer match on Saturday, March 8, 2020, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Who will start for Atlanta United in Saturday’s MLS reboot tournament game against New York Red Bulls in Orlando?

Yes, that felt weird to type.

The game will be broadcast on Fox, or you can follow my coverage on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC, which will be faster than your TV feed but not nearly as entertaining or insightful.

But it’s free.

Here are predictions on the formation and the first 11 for the Five Stripes.

With no Josef Martinez, I think you will see the Five Stripes play a False Nine, with Pity Martinez, Ezequiel Barco, Matheus Rossetto and Manuel Castro interchanging.

The key in the false nine is at least one player, whether it’s one of that quartet, Emerson Hyndman or the fullbacks, must make runs between lines of defenders. If no one on Red Bulls has to make a choice then defending the False Nine becomes fairly easy because no one has to move and all attackers are in front of them.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan

Right fullback Franco Escobar, returning from injury

Centerback Miles Robinson, returning from injury

Centerback Fernando Meza

Left fullback Edgar Castillo, making his first start. I think he gets the nod because he has vast tournament experience.

Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi

Defensive midfielder Emerson Hyndman

Midfielder Matheus Rossetto, making his first start

Winger Manuel Castro, making his first start

Winger Ezequiel Barco, who has two goals and an assist this season.

Attacker Pity Martinez, who has two assists this season.

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