Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco will miss his third consecutive league game when the Five Stripes play at Cincinnati on Wednesday, according to manager Frank de Boer.
Barco, 20, sustained an undisclosed injury to one of his legs in the win against Minnesota that clinched the U.S. Open Cup on Aug. 27. He has missed the past two games. Atlanta United lost both, 3-1 at Philadelphia and 3-1 to Columbus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Barco, an attacking midfielder, has just 13 appearances with 10 starts in the league this season.
Atlanta United is 7-4-2 this season when Barco starts or makes an appearance. It is 6-3-1 when he starts and 1-1-1 when he comes off the bench. The team has scored 20 goals in his appearances and allowed 13. For the season, Atlanta United has scored 48 goals and allowed 36.
Atlanta United has 48 points and is in third place in the Eastern Conference. It trails first-place NYCFC by nine points, but has played one fewer game. It trails second-place Philadelphia by four points, but has played one fewer game. It leads fourth-place Toronto by three points but has played two fewer games.
Emerson Hyndman has started in place of Barco in the past two games. He had an assist in the loss to Columbus.
De Boer said that Leandro Gonzalez Pirez would start at centerback against Cincinnati and that George Bello won’t be in the 18. He said he is concentrating on the upcoming U17 World Cup and that it’s better for him to continue to play with Atlanta United 2 in the USL. He didn’t rule out him making an 18 for the senior team in its remaining games.
“I’m not going to take any risks with George Bello because I want him fully fit for next season,” de Boer said.
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