Predicting Atlanta United’s starting 11 vs. Alajuelense

Atlanta United's Marcelino Moreno gets off a shot during a 2-1 loss to Columbus on Sunday.
Atlanta United's Marcelino Moreno gets off a shot during a 2-1 loss to Columbus on Sunday.

Atlanta United will continue its 2021 campaign with the second leg of Champions League series Tuesday against LD Alajuelense at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The Five Stripes won the first game 1-0. Tuesday’s game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast by FS1.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC) predicts Atlanta United’s starting lineup that he thinks manager Gabriel Heinze will select for Tuesday’s game.

Goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo. He got the call when Brad Guzan received a red card in the 43rd minute of last week’s game. That disciplinary action keeps Guzan off the roster for this game. Rios Novo stopped six shots and played very well. Ben Lundgaard should be Rios Novo’s replacement.

Right fullback Brooks Lennon. I think Lennon again gets the nod over Ronald Hernandez because Lennon played well in the first game.

Centerback Miles Robinson.

Centerback Anton Walkes. Walkes and Robinson played very well. I don’t see the need to break up that pairing for this important game. Look for Alan Franco to start on Saturday.

Left fullback George Bello.

Defensive midfielder Santiago Sosa. A man of the match-type performance in the first game.

Central midfielder Emerson Hyndman.

Attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco. He scored the team’s only goal on a penalty kick. He worked his tail off all game.

Right wing Jurgen Damm.

Left wing Marcelino Moreno. I think Moreno and Damm will get the starts because Alajuelense is going to have to push the tempo to try to get a result. That should leave spaces behind their lines that can be exploited. While Jake Mulraney, who started the first game, is fast, he’s not as fast as Damm. Few are.

Striker Lisandro Lopez. Yes, Josef Martinez is healthy and he played but I think Lopez will get the start. Look for Martinez to start on Saturday.

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