After a performance against the New York Red Bulls that could best be defined as "meh", Atlanta United will look to attain the best playoff seeding they can in a matchup against MLS' best Toronto FC. Miguel Almiron posted on Instagram that he's back, but to what extent? Is it training Miggy Smiles, or is it matchday fit Miggy Smiles? Also, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Who replaces him? Here is the definite, surefire lineup for October 22nd.*
*I'm probably wrong.
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.
Left Back: Chris McCann. Due to some incredible investigative work on the part of yours truly, Mikey Ambrose was correctly predicted as the starter last match due to McCann's absence from Atlanta United photo galleries throughout the week of training. However, according to a tweet earlier in the week, it appears that he's back training with the team(top right corner, standing behind Tyrone Mears. I have issues).
This obviously means McCann's going to start without a shadow of a doubt.
Center Back #1: Jeff Larentowicz. The last time Pirez was suspended, Larentowicz filled his spot for the second home match against Orlando City. As you all might remember, Pirez was sorely missed that game as Orlando took advantage of his absence by delivering lobs over the head of Larentowicz into the path of Dom Dwyer, who had quite the night with two goals. Larentowicz simply had trouble keeping up.
That's why I wouldn't be surprised to see Anton Walkes play at CB on Sunday, if anything just for his pace to counter that of a potential Sebastian Giovinco and/or Jozy Altidore. The main reason Larentowicz is the safe choice is because Tata Martino has put him in this position most recently. Let's see if Martino puts any extra thought into that Orlando match.
Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst.
Right Back: Anton Walkes.
Central Midfielder #1: Carlos Carmona.
Central Midfielder #2: Julian Gressel. Again, similar thought process to that of Larentowicz's. Gressel slid into the central mid spot against Orlando while Larentowicz played in the backline.
Attacking Midfielder: Miguel Almiron. I'm excited just to be typing this! Let's hope it's true. He needs minutes before the playoffs begin.
Left Winger: Yamil Asad.
Right Winger: Tito Villalba.
Striker: Josef Martinez. He's due for a goal, yeah?
To recap, here's my projected lineup against Toronto FC.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.