October 21, 2018 Atlanta: Atlanta United defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez battles Chicago Fire forward Aleksander Katai for the ball during the first half in a MLS soccer match on Sunday, Oct 21, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Predicting Atlanta United’s starting 11 vs. Toronto

Who will start for Atlanta United (8-5-2) in Wednesday’s game at Toronto (5-7-4)?

Manager Frank de Boer has neither Josef Martinez, Ezequiel Barco nor Hector Villalba available for selection. Martinez, who leads the team with 10 goals, is with Venezuela at the Copa America in Brazil. Villalba, who has one goal and three assists, is recovering from a ligament injury. Barco is also recovering from a ligament injury in his knee.

Here we go:

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, an MLS All-Star.

Right fullback Michael Parkhurst. I originally had Franco Escobar, but forgot that he is out because of yellow card accumulation. Thank you to @dawg4him for reminding me.

Centerback Miles Robinson, who should be an MLS All-Star.

Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, an MLS All-Star.

Left fullback Brek Shea. 

That was easy.

Now it gets more interesting.

Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi.

Defensive midfielder Darlington Nagbe. 

Wide midfielder Justin Meram, who I think will get the nod in place of Barco. He and Vazquez have a good connection.

Wide midfielder Pity Martinez, an MLS All-Star.

Attacking midfielder Julian Gressel. He started underneath the striker in the team’s last league game against Chicago. It worked well. I think he will get the start again. Having said that, de Boer may elect to switch Gressel to wherever Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo plays because Gressel is a much better defender than either Pity Martinez or Meram.

Striker Brandon Vazquez. With four goals in the past two games in the U.S. Open Cup, he’s earned the chance to start in the league.

Tell me if you like the formation and the personnel.

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About the Author

Doug Roberson
Doug Roberson
Doug Roberson covers the Atlanta United and Major League Soccer.
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