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The Daily Dirt, February 23: Intensity

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What to think about for Atlanta’s Opening Day lineup

What a night, eh?

Huge win for Atlanta United against the reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders. Remember that both teams were experimenting with lineups, Seattle put out a second choice eleven to open the match and they were rattled by Atlanta’s intense defensive pressure. Atlanta’s second choice group handled themselves pretty well against Seattle’s starters late in the match, even after losing Julian Gressel to a red card.

At this point in the preseason, with one game left to play on Saturday, what is your prediction for the starting lineup on Opening Day? I’ve been pretty consistent in saying that I don’t think this will be a team that has eleven dedicated starters and then reserves. I think the lineups will adjust based on current form, fitness, and the opponent. I still think this is true.

Against New York, I would not be surprised to see a lineup similar to what we saw last night. All the speed, all the quickness, and all of the pressure that can be stuffed into it to hurt a team coming to Atlanta on short rest. Don’t forget, the Red Bulls play the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal next Thursday in Vancouver. Then, they have to fly across the county to Atlanta to play United on Sunday night. They won’t have their normal legs and energy, and Atlanta could take advantage.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Domestic

New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps draw in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg (Once a Metro)

FC Dallas prepares for a dirty game against Arabe Unido in the CCL tonight (MLS)

Diego Valeri dedicated to improving in 2017 (MLS)

LA Galaxy will be scouting in London and Manchester (BBC)

DC United trade an international roster slot to Montreal for $75,000 in General Allocation Money (official)

New York Cosmos signing a midfielder from La Liga? (GSP)

International

Real Madrid and Barcelona could be playing in Miami this summer (MLS Futbol)

Wayne Rooney still has the quality to play in Europe, according to Slaven Bilic (FourFourTwo)

Local

More on the announced Atlanta Sports City project (AJC)