Atlanta United schedule: New faces, or some in new places

July 21, 2019 Atlanta: Atlanta United players Eric Remedi (left) and Pity Martinez double team D.C. United player Luciano Acosta in a soccer match on Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Atlanta.   Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
July 21, 2019 Atlanta: Atlanta United players Eric Remedi (left) and Pity Martinez double team D.C. United player Luciano Acosta in a soccer match on Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: compton@ajc.com

Credit: compton@ajc.com

Here are some new faces, or new faces in new places, that Atlanta United is scheduled to face this MLS season:

Brenner, Luciano Acosta, Ronald Matarrita, Cincinnati

The Queen City club isn’t messing around with trying to spark an offense that scored just 12 goals in 23 games last season.

Brenner, 21, scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for Sao Paulo and Fluminese in Brazil. He’s strong and a solid finisher.

Acosta, a one-season standout for D.C. United when he had Wayne Rooney as striker, returned from Atlas in Mexico. At D.C. United, Acosta scored 24 goals with 35 assists, including 10 and 17 in 2018, in 126 appearances. If Cincy can provide defensive cover so that Acosta can focus on getting forward, he could form a fantastic partnership with Brenner, similar to what he had with Rooney.

Matarrita joined from NYCFC, where he didn’t develop into the expected standout, finishing with four goals and 13 assists in 106 appearances. But, with Acosta and Brenner, big things could be in store.

Gregore, Inter Miami

That Miami signed the Brazilian midfielder may be an indication of how poorly Blaise Matuidi played last season. Gregore has played for many clubs, often on loan, in Brazil. He’s reportedly a good tackler but poor shooter.

Djorde Mihailovic, Montreal

The 22-year-old was acquired by Montreal in a trade with Chicago. Anyone who has watched him with the U.S. Under-23 national team can see he is a great taker of free kicks, a capable dribbler in tight spaces and has an eye for passes into dangerous spots during “live” play. Montreal’s defense was its issue last season, not offense, so this is an interesting acquisition.

Alexandre Pato, Orlando

Once one of Brazil’s up-and-coming standouts, Pato seems to have lost his way after scoring 63 goals in 150 appearances in AC Milan. He subsequently played in Brazil for Corinthians and Sao Paulo, in England for Chelsea where he was a disappointment, back to Corinthians, to Spain with Villarreal, then to China, then back to Brazil and then was without a club before signing with Orlando. He will provide cover should Daryl Dike not return from his outstanding spell with Barnsley.

Arnor Ingvi Traustason, New England

The 27-year-old left winger scored 17 goals with 20 assists for Swedish powers Malmo and should provide a boost to a Revs’ offense that scored 26 goals in 23 games last season.

Andrew Gutman, Red Bulls

Atlanta United acquired the left fullback in a trade with Cincinnati, then secured his MLS rights from Celtic before sending him on loan to Red Bulls. He likes to get forward. Had the offense been better in Cincinnati he would likely have had much better results than one assist in 30 appearances.

Kevin Molino, Columbus

Another shrewd signing by the Crew, the 30-year-old winger had 25 goals and 19 assists in 75 appearances for Minnesota. That’s a good return. He can play across the midfield, which is another added benefit.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, Columbus

Look who’s back, back again. The 36-year-old striker scored nine goals with six assists in 21 appearanceslast season for LAFC and will provide quality depth behind Gyasi Zardes for the MLS champs. He has 137 goals in MLS. Unreal.

Jhon Espinoza, Chicago

A 21-year-old winger, the Ecquadorian International made 48 starts for Aucas. He will bring speed up the right flank.

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