Atlanta United’s Santiago Sosa out vs. Cincinnati

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)
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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’s Santiago Sosa is progressing from his injury, but won’t be available for the team’s MLS regular-season finale Sunday at Cincinnati, manager Gonzalo Pineda said Saturday.

“We tried to push, but it’s probably safer not to push that hard at this moment,” Pineda said.

Pineda said that Sosa will travel with the team for Sunday’s game and that he hopes he will be able to re-join training sessions next week. Sosa has been training by himself with an assistant coach.

Without Sosa, who has 25 appearances this season, it seems likely that Pineda again will use a formation that features three centerbacks. Pineda has said that he’s more comfortable using a back four that includes two centerbacks instead of three when Sosa is on the field because of his experience dropping back and playing as a third centerback or even as a fullback should one get caught up field.

Franco Ibarra, who likely will replace Sosa as a defensive midfielder, said Saturday that he will drop between the centerbacks if that is what the coaches wantsm should they elect to start with a back four or switch to one during Sunday’s game.

With a draw Sunday, Atlanta United will secure a playoff spot. With a win, there’s a chance it could host a playoff game if it wins and Philadelphia defeats NYCFC.

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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 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0

July 21 Atlanta United 1, Cincinnati 1

July 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Orlando 3, Atlanta United 2

Aug. 4 Atlanta United 2, Montreal 2

Aug. 7 Atlanta United 3, Columbus 2

Aug. 15 Atlanta United 1, LAFC 0

Aug. 18 Atlanta United 1, Toronto 0

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, D.C. United 1

Aug. 28 Nashville 2, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 3, Orlando 0

Sept. 15 Atlanta United 4, Cincinnati 0

Sept. 18 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

Sept. 25 Philadelphia 1, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 29 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 0

Oct. 2 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 16 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 0

Oct. 20 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

Oct. 27 Atlanta United 2, Miami 1

Oct. 30 Atlanta United 1, Toronto1

Nov. 3 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

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

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