Atlanta United will perform without several key players for Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup game against Saint Louis FC at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
According to manager Frank de Boer, among those who can’t play because of injury are: midfielder Ezequiel Barco (knee), midfielder Hector Villalba (knee), centerback Flo Pogba (hamstring), midfielder Kevin Kratz (calf) and fullback George Bello (groin).
Barco, 20, “is doing well” and may be able to return to training with the first team after Sunday’s game at Seattle, according to de Boer. Atlanta United will host Houston on July 17. Barco was injured when he was tackled out of bounds in Atlanta United’s win against Columbus in the U.S. Open Cup. it was his first game with the team since he returned from U20 World Cup in Poland. He hasn’t played in a league match with the team since the May 5 win at Sporting KC. Barco has four goals and one assist this season.
Villalba, 24, hasn’t appeared for Atlanta United since being injured at New York Red Bulls on May 19. He has one goal and three assists. De Boer said Villalba “is a little bit further away” and didn’t provide a timetable for his return.
Pogba suffered damage to his hamstring in Sunday’s draw with Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He is expected to be out of action for 2-3 weeks.
Kratz, 32, has one appearance with Atlanta United this season. Bello, 17, appeared in the opening game in the Champions League. De Boer said the team hopes for a medical update about Bello either Tuesday or Wednesday and that he could rejoin the team soon. “He is doing really well,” de Boer said. “It looks promising, but we have to wait for a final checkup.”
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