Scouting report: Atlanta United vs. Portland

Atlanta United (2-0-1) will play its third home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Portland (1-2-0) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the MLS channel on AppleTV. It will kick off at 7:39 p.m. You can sync the radio broadcast from 92.9 FM through the app. You can follow the coverage of Doug Roberson, who has covered the franchise since 2014, on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC.

Here is a scouting report for the game:

Portland manager: Giovanni Savarese

Portland on road: 0-1-0

Atlanta United at home: 1-0-1

Portland goals for/against: 4/5

Portland expected goals for/against: 3.0/3.9

Atlanta United goals for/against: 6/2

Atlanta United expected goals for/against: 4.1/2.7

Portland key players

Zac McGraw: One goal

Juan Mosquera: One goal, one assist

Atlanta United key players

Thiago Almada: 2 goals, 2 assists

Caleb Wiley: 2 goals, 1 assist

Matheus Rossetto: 1 goal

Luiz Araujo: 1 goal

Giorgos Giakoumakis

Talking points

1. Will Atlanta United keep improving? Manager Gonzalo Pineda’s team keeps getting better from week to week. It posted its first shutout Saturday in a win against Charlotte. It also scored a season-high in goals.

2. Who will start? Neither Giakoumakis nor Derrick Etienne have started. Neither will be available next week at Columbus because they’ve been called to their respective national teams. Will Pineda keep going with what’s working and start Wiley and Miguel Berry this week, knowing they likely will start next week, or give Giakoumakis and Etienne their first starts and risk disrupting chemistry?

3. Will Portland play a low block? The Timbers will go without several key players because of injuries. Pineda said he doesn’t assume the Timbers will play defensively at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, though it is what most opponents do. If Portland does sit deep, can Atlanta United break them down?

Injury reports

Atlanta United

Questionable: Machop Chol (hamstring) and Tyler Wolff (shoulder).

Out: Ozzie Alonso (recovery from torn ACL), Rossetto (hamstring)


Out: Felipe Mora (left knee), Sebastian Blanco (left knee), David Ayala (right knee), Dairon Asprilla (right knee), Tega Ikoba (right knee), Yimmi Chara (right hamstring), Cristhian Paredes (right hamstring) and Evander (hip).

What was said

“I’m just focused on this week. I’m not focused on next week. I want to put the best possible lineup for this game against Portland. Then, we’ll try to worry about Columbus.” – Pineda

“Yeah, there’s still definitely areas where we’re looking back at video and looking back at clips. How do we deal with different situations? How do we, you’re striving for perfection, right? And so every play, every pass, every ball, can we be a step this way, step that right way? How do we fine-tune things? And so that’s now the process.” – Brad Guzan

Officiating crew

Referee: Ted Unkel

Assistants: Corey Parker, Ian McKay

Fourth official: Ben Pilgrim

VAR: Jair Marrufo

AVAR: Jozef Batko

Atlanta United’s predicted 11

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan

Centerback Miles Robinson

Centerback JuanJo Purata

Right fullback Brooks Lennon

Left fullback Andrew Gutman

Defensive midfielder Franco Ibarra

Midfielder Amar Sejdic

Attacking midfielder Thiago Almada

Right wing Luiz Araujo

Left wing Caleb Wiley

Striker Miguel Berry

For more content about Atlanta United

Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC

On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now

On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson

Atlanta United coverage on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found

Apple -

Spotify -

Google podcasts -

If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast ... and if you like what you hear, please give us a good rating so we can grow the show. If you have questions about the MLS team, you can email Doug Roberson at, DM him on Twitter @dougrobersonajc or call 770-810-5297.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special offer for Atlanta United supporters and listeners to this podcast. If you subscribe today, you will not only get unlimited digital access to the AJC and the Sunday paper for $2.30 a week but we are also throwing in a special limited-edition Atlanta United and Atlanta Journal-Constitution scarf. So sign up now at

Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1

March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0

March 18 vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.

March 25 at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

April 1 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

April 8 at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

April 15 at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

April 23 vs. Chicago Fire FC, 4:30 p.m., FS1

April 29 at Nashville SC, 1:30 p.m., Fox

May 6 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

May 13 vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m.

May 17 vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.

May 20 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.

May 27 at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.

May 31 vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m., FS1

June 3 at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.

June 10 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 21 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

June 24 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m., Fox

July 8 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

July 15 vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 20 at Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 26 vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 30 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 2 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 vs. Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, TBA