3 Atlanta United players to watch

Atlanta United will play its first preseason game on Saturday when it takes on Chattanooga at its home, Finley Stadium.

Game time is 3 p.m. It will be live-streamed on Chattanooga's website, if you can't go.

Though I’m looking forward to watching everyone on the team because it’s the first game, here are the three players I’m most looking forward to seeing:

Hector VillalbaThe Argentine speedster was the first Designated Player signed by the MLS expansion side. Though I was granted access to watch training at IMG Academy, it was difficult to get an appreciation for Villalba's speed and skill because most of the scrimmaging was small-sided games on small fields. There was no space for Villalba to reach top gear. That shouldn't be a problem on Saturday. He will have a full field. He will have artificial turf. I want to see if he is as fast as is rumored.

🔴&⚫️#5StripeFriday pic.twitter.com/ZGNqZwRqgR— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 10, 2017

Josef Martinez. The third and last Designated Player hinted in an interview earlier this week that, though he had just left Europe (Torino in Italy), he wants to one day get back there. According to a report in a South American news outlet, he wants to go to Tottenham in England's Premier League. There are, of course, a couple of ties between Atlanta United and Spurs. Darren Eales worked at Spurs before joining Atlanta United. The clubs recently agreed to a loan for Anton Walkes. That's neither here nor there. I want to see Martinez because statistically he seems to tease at his potential, but he hasn't fulfilled it yet on the club level with 25 goals in more than 125 appearances for teams in Switzerland and Italy. You know who else had a ratio of one goal in every five or six games early in his career in Italy? His initials are S.G. and he plays for Toronto.

Jeff Larentowicz. I'm interested in seeing how manager Gerardo Martino uses the MLS veteran. Though Larentowicz can play either holding midfielder or centerback, Martino said he considers him a holding midfielder. If Martino plays a 4-3-3, there can be only one holding midfielder. Will it be Larentowicz or someone else? If he opts for a 4-2-3-1, you may see a combination of Larentowicz and Chris McCann, or Larentowicz and Carlos Carmona, recently signed from Atalanta in Italy.