Here is Doug Roberson’s predicted lineup for Atlanta United for Sunday’s MLS game against NYCFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who leads MLS with 11 clean sheets.
Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, who has either been very good in games or has struggled mightily.
Centerback Miles Robinson, who has looked like the best defender in MLS the past two games, and has been consistently one of the best in the league this season.
Centerback Flo Pogba. I went back and forth on this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Parkhurst start at right centerback with LGP sliding over here. I think that because of NYCFC’s smaller, more agile strikers. Parkhurst might match up slightly better than Pogba, who is more physical and better against the larger target forwards. Both Parkhurst and Pogba are great passers.
Right wingback Julian Gressel
Left wingback Franco Escobar. This isn’t a knock against Justin Meram, who has played very well, or Dion Pereira, who I think will start on Wednesday in the Campeones Cup. It’s more a reflection of the offensive power that comes down NYCFC’s right side and Escobar’s ability to better defend against it. Remember that Escobar played this position for the final minutes against Orlando on Tuesday, and excelled at right winback in last year’s playoffs.
Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi, who handled Maxi Moralez well in last year’s playoff series with NYCFC.
Defensive midfielder Darlington Nagbe
Attacking midfielder Emerson Hyndman
Striker Ezequiel Barco
Striker Pity Martinez. I think Josef Martinez will be available to come off the bench, as will Hector Villalba. I don’t think there’s any need to risk either player in this game.
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