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The Daily Dirt, March 9: Decisions

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Some of the options for Tata Martino on Sunday

New York Red Bulls v Atlanta United FC Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Atlanta United’s lineup on Sunday appears to be the greatest unknown heading into the Minnesota game. Both in the comments to yesterday’s Daily Dirt and during last night’s ATLSoccer chat, the opinions vary widely as to what the team should do at kickoff at TCF Bank Stadium.

We know that Carlos Carmona will be missing, he is suspended for one game due to his late red card last week. Replacing him directly will come down to Jeff Larentowicz or Chris McCann. As of this moment, it seems more likely to replace him with Larentowicz due to his strong play in the preseason. McCann could also play, but for Julian Gressel. On the road, McCann’s experience could be useful.

There has been quite a bit of back and forth about who should start up top, Josef Martinez or Kenwyne Jones. Martinez’s dynamic movement provides a different option than Jones’ size and hold-up play. It depends on which element Tata Martino values more against the Loons.

The weather forecasters are hard at work ahead of Sunday. As of now, it only appears to be very cold with no major chance for precipitation. How much will this affect Atlanta’s style of play? Could they be forced to play more direct? Could the press be more difficult to execute in these conditions? These are all tough questions for Tata Martino and a new experience for him in MLS.


Domestic

Early predictions on the USMNT roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers (MLS)

MLS is becoming more financially transparent on its roster construction (Eighty Six Forever)

Ola Kamara more comfortable in 2017 for the Columbus Crew (Columbus Dispatch)

Center back Tommy Redding growing in confidence for Orlando City after leading the U.S. U20’s to a CONCACAF championship (Orlando Sentinel)

Rookie Zeiko Lewis loaned by New York Red Bulls to their USL affiliate for the season (Once a Metro)

International

Barcelona shocks the soccer world with the largest comeback in Champions League history (SB Nation)

Liga MX could benefit from a stronger MLS (FourFourTwo)

Local

Early season high school soccer rankings (boys AJC) (girls AJC)