Lineup changes for Atlanta United vs. Minnesota

FEBRUARY 11, 2017 CHATTANOOGA TN Atlanta United defender Greg Garza (4) make it thru a Chattanooga forward.
Caption
FEBRUARY 11, 2017 CHATTANOOGA TN Atlanta United defender Greg Garza (4) make it thru a Chattanooga forward.

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta United’s lineup for Tuesday’s game against Minnesota will feature several expected changes and at least one unexpected one. Greg Garza, Anton Walkes, Brad Guzan and Josef Martinez all will not be available as Atlanta United tries to move up in MLS playoff seeding.

Manager Gerardo Martino said on Monday that he didn’t have an update Garza, the left fullback who left the first half of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at New England after “feeling something” in his left leg. However,  Martino did say that Garza will not be among the 18 players that could face the Loons.

Walkes will receive a day off from his right fullback position, Martino said. Walkes has 15 starts this season. Either Mark Bloom or Tyrone Mears seem the likely replacement. Mears has 15 starts and 19 appearances this season. Bloom has two starts.

Additionally, Kyle Reynish will replace Guzan as goalkeeper. Guzan, who has seven shutouts, was called up to the U.S. men’s national team for two World Cup qualifying games. Reynish has one league start this season.

Martinez will also miss Tuesday’s game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium because the striker was called up by Venezuela’s national team for its World Cup qualifying games. Martino didn’t say who would start in place of Martinez, who leads the team with 18 goals. Hector Villalba (12 goals, 10 assists) or Kenwyne Jones (2 goals) could replace Martinez.

Garza, 26, has started 25 games and scored two goals with five assists this season. He had just returned from a hamstring injury with a substitute appearance in last week’s win against Philadelphia and a start against the Revs. Chris McCann seems the likely replacement for Garza. McCann has seven starts and 21 appearances. Garza is loan to Atlanta United from Tijuana in LIGA MX.

Atlanta United (15-8-8) is in third in the Eastern Conference and has secured a playoff berth. It trails second-place NYCFC by three points, a deficit it can overcome with a victory against Minnesota.

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