Atlanta United missing two key midfielders against D.C. United

Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa (5) looks to pass the ball during the match against FC Cincinnati Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. (Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Atlanta United

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Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa (5) looks to pass the ball during the match against FC Cincinnati Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. (Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Atlanta United

Atlanta United central midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra will not be available for Saturday’s MLS game at D.C. United, according to interim manager Rob Valentino.

Sosa was subbed out of Wednesday’s win against Toronto at Mercedes-Benz Stadium because of an undisclosed issue.

Valentino wouldn’t disclose what was going on with Sosa, other than to say that he hopes that it was not serious and may be an accumulation of minutes. Sosa has 1,589 minutes in 18 league appearances. His minutes are the third most on the team.

The absences of the two players leaves the team with Matheus Rossetto and Amar Sejdic as the remaining two healthy central midfielders. Rossetto didn’t play against Toronto because of an issue with his leg. Valentino said that Rossetto appears fine for Saturday. Sejdic came on as a sub.

Atlanta United has won its past three games. It trails D.C. United by three points in the Eastern Conference standings. The Five Stripes trail D.C. United and Montreal by three points for the final two playoff spots in the East.