My predictions for Atlanta United’s starting 11 in Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League game against Herediano in Costa Rica:
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who has experience playing in Central America.
Centerback Michael Parkhurst, the team’s captain and who has experience playing in Central America.
Centerback Miles Robinson, who looked fantastic in the preseason.
Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, who has experience playing in tough tournaments.
Right wingback Julian Gressel, who will deliver passes into the box to Josef Martinez and Pity Martinez.
Left wingback Brek Shea, who gets the start over Bello because of his experience and height.
Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi, who has experience playing in international tournaments.
Defensive midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, who has Champions League experience.
Midfielder Ezequiel Barco, who looks a different, better player than last year.
Midfielder Pity Martinez, the reigning South American Player of the Year.
Striker Josef Martinez, the reigning MLS MVP.
The team’s shape will be a 4-5-1 on defense, and 3-4-3 going forward. The final three will depend upon the situation. It could be the wingbacks pushing up to join Josef Martinez, it could be Barco and Pity Martinez moving up, or it could be some combination.
I think the bench will include:
Goalkeeper Alec Kann
Striker Romario Williams
Midfielder Hector Villalba
Fullback George Bello
Midfielder Darlington Nagbe
Centerback Florentin Pogba
Midfielder Brandon Vazquez
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