Atlanta United injury updates for Nashville

Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa (5) heads the ball against the New York Red Bulls Sunday, June 27, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)
caption arrowCaption
Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa (5) heads the ball against the New York Red Bulls Sunday, June 27, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Credit: AP

Atlanta United manager Gabriel Heinze was cryptic Tuesday when asked if a few of the team’s missing players will return in time for Thursday’s game at Nashville.

He said that striker Josef Martinez is training by himself. Martinez, though vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 while with the Venezuelan national team at the Copa America. Heinze didn’t say if Martinez will be available for Thursday’s game.

Heinze said that Santiago Sosa, who missed last week’s 3-0 loss at Chicago, was doing better after not recovering well from the previous 0-0 draw with the Red Bulls, and that centerback Alan Franco is still recovering. Franco also missed the game at Chicago.

The statuses of all three players are important because the team will be without goalkeeper Brad Guzan, centerback Miles Robinson and fullback George Bello, who were named to the U.S. team that is scheduled to compete in the Gold Cup, and midfielder Ezequiel Barco, who was named to the Argentina team that is scheduled to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo. The team also is without injured midfielder Franco Ibarra, who is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks.

Atlanta United is winless in its past six games and been shut out in its past three. Martinez, who has two goals, has played in seven of the team’s 11 games.

Heinze said he has never experienced anything resembling the number of Atlanta United players who are expected to miss games over the next few weeks because of injuries are call-ups.

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Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1,

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 at Nashville, 8:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. New England, 5 p.m., ESPN

July 21 at Cincinnati, 8 p.m., FS1

July 24 vs. Columbus, 3:30 p.m., ABC

July 30 at Orlando, 8 p.m., ESPN

Aug. 4 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 7 at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 15 vs. LAFC, 4 p.m. ESPN

Aug. 18 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 21 at D.C. United, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 28 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 10 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE