The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson predicts Atlanta United’s starting 11 vs. New England for Sunday’s MLS game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, whose roof is scheduled to be open. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Southeast. It can heard on radio at 94.1.
If Atlanta United wins, it will clinch second place in the Eastern Conference. It will host a first-round playoff game and could host a second-round game, which is why I think you will see the team’s strongest lineup on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
Centerback Franco Escobar
Centerback Miles Robinson
Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez
Right wingback Julian Gressel
Left wingback Justin Meram
Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi
Defensive midfielder Darlington Nagbe
Attacking midfielder Pity Martinez
Striker Ezequiel Barco
Striker Josef Martinez
I struggled with where to put Barco. He is starting. Frank de Boer said so on Friday. But if he starts, it means that either Emerson Hyndman or Pity Martinez likely won’t. There’s a chance that Josef Martinez won’t, but de Boer said it would be up to Josef Martinez and I have a difficult time imaging him saying he can’t go.
Hyndman has been playing well. He was at the heart of most, not all, of what Atlanta United did well on offense in its recent game at Montreal. Putting either Pity Martinez or Ezequiel Barco as the Attacking Midfielder requires consistent effort on defense in tracking back against Luis Caicedo and Wilfried Zahibo and that’s not a strong suit for Barco or Martinez.
But Atlanta United needs goals, so this is what I think they will do. Plus, it gives New England something to consider should the teams meet again in the first round of the playoffs.
It would be nice to see the retiring Michael Parkhurst start, but it doesn’t seem likely based upon what de Boer said on Friday.
What do you think the team will do with the starting lineup
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