Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer said he can field the same strong lineup at Seattle in Sunday’s MLS match that he used to defeat Saint Louis FC 2-0 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
Speaking after Wednesday’s win that was sparked by goals from Pity Martinez and Josef Martinez, de Boer said “everybody who started and played can start against Seattle.”
Because there are three days between games, de Boer said if the players follow the rest and recovery regimens they should be OK. De Boer said he is basing that off his experience as a manager and player. He said he recognizes the difference in travel in MLS compared with travelling in his native Holland or for Champions League games in Europe.
De Boer said if any players are still tired before Sunday’s game, the team has a deep enough roster to change players.
Don’t expect wholesale changes. De Boer said he doesn’t like to make more than four changes to starting lineups between games because he said it affects the team’s chemistry and doesn’t put the players in positions to succeed.
Atlanta United’s lineup Wednesday included debutant Emerson Hyndman in the central midfield. Julian Gressel, normally the attacking midfielder, came off the bench to play a few minutes. Dion Pereira, a wide midfielder, also played just a few minutes. Other players who have started games this season but didn’t appear Wednesday included centerback Michael Parkhurst and fullback Mikey Ambrose.
On Sunday, the team won’t have available midfielders Ezequiel Barco, Hector Villalba or centerback Flo Pogba. They are injured.