I haven’t been remotely close to correctly predicting Atlanta United’s starting 11 in its past two games.
I keep trying to force Kenwyne Jones into the 11 and manager Gerardo Martino, who is obviously a little better at this than I am, keeps putting Hector Villalba as the lone striker. Three Villalba goals in three games, and two ties at Seattle and at Toronto, supports his decisions.
So, who will start for Atlanta United against Montreal?
I’ve finally learned my lesson about Villalba, but that doesn’t mean I’m any smarter.
Originally, I went out on a very thin limb and (incorrectly) put in 16-year-old Andrew Carleton in at right midfield in place.
I reasoned that not only is Carleton pretty darn good, Yamil Asad can't play because of the red card in the 75th minute against Toronto. So, he's out.
Jacob Peterson didn’t play last week because of an injury. He is back but is listed as questionable.
Add in that Carleton made the trip to Seattle but wasn’t in the 18, and then made the trip to Toronto and was in the 18 and it seems somewhat logical that this week he will make the 18…and the 11.
But he will be training with the U18 U.S. team, which I had forgotten.
His speed would be invaluable if Atlanta United tries to flip the field with the quick counter-attacks proved so effective in scoring two goals against Toronto.
Anyway, I’m putting Peterson back in at the wing.
The rest of the lineup will be mostly the same.