Atlanta United’s Villalba likely out next two games

Atlanta United’s Hector Villalba probably will miss the next two games because manager Frank de Boer said the team wants to be careful with the ligament injury in his knee.

The Five Stripes will host Minnesota on Wednesday and Chicago on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Villalba sustained a knee injury during Atlanta United’s 1-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls on May 19. He has one goal and three assists in 11 appearances this season and 21 goals and 23 assists since 2017.

De Boer said Villalba’s recovery is going well, but that it’s a delicate injury.

“A lot of times you think, ‘I’m OK,’ but when you make a sudden move it can happen again,” he said. “We have to be very cautious.”

De Boer said Villalba’s participation with Paraguay in this summer’s Copa America hasn’t been ruled out.

Midfielder Kevin Kratz, recently recovered a from calf injury suffered in the preseason, needs more time playing minutes with Atlanta United 2 before he will be considered for the senior team, de Boer said.