August 11, 2019 Atlanta: Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco works his way through New York City FC defenders in their soccer match on Sunday, August 11, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Atlanta United’s Barco likely out vs. Philadelphia

Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco likely won’t play in Saturday’s game at Philadelphia because of an injury, manager Frank de Boer said Thursday.

The teams are tied with 48 points atop the MLS Eastern Conference. Atlanta United leads the first tiebreaker, number of wins, by one. 

De Boer said Barco sustained a muscle injury during Tuesday’s win over Minnesota in the U.S. Open Cup. De Boer said he didn’t know what the injury was and that Barco wasn’t sure when it happened. 

After Philadelphia, Barco is supposed to join the Argentina U23 national team that will play Bolivia on Sept. 4 in Argentina.

Barco, 20, has four goals and two assists in in 13 league starts.

His absence likely will mean that Emerson Hyndman will start as the attacking midfielder. Hyndman, 23, has eight appearances, including three starts, in the league.

De Boer also said that defender Franco Escobar likely won’t start against the Union because he is still working his way back from a hamstring injury and that the team wants to be careful because he is a key player and they don’t want to lose him for the season.

Escobar played the final minutes of the U.S. Open Cup. He said Thursday that he’s not 100 percent, but is close. Escobar, 24, has 19 appearances this season. With Escobar likely not starting, the back three for Atlanta United likely will continue to be Miles Robinson, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Flo Pogba.

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