After a scrappy win in Salt Lake City last week, Atlanta United will look to make it two in a row against D.C. United on Sunday. Will there be any changes to the lineup? Will I finally get a prediction right? Probably not, but we’re going to try anyway. Here is the definite, surefire lineup for April 30th.*
*I’m probably wrong.**
**If anyone’s keeping count, only two of my seven predictions have been correct. Let’s try and steer the ship this week.
Formation: 4-3-3. Although Tata Martino has come out with four different lineups in the last four matches (which makes it really hard for this dopey writer to make a prediction), he’s remained consistent with a 4-3-3 over that span.
Goalkeeper: Alec Kann.
Left Back: Greg Garza.
Center Back #1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Fun Fact: “Pirez” translates to “Soccer God” in English.
Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst. He’s one of only three Atlanta players, along with Kann and Garza, who has played every minute of the season so far.
Right Back: Tyrone Mears.
Center Midfielder #1: Jeff Larentowicz. Who saw this one coming? With the hot start that Julian Gressel had early in the season, everyone assumed he locked down a starting spot. Well, Larentowicz has been quite good in his own right, and Martino doesn’t seem to mind having both him and Carmona as two predominantly holding midfielders that don’t necessarily join the attack, but challenge opposing attacking players instead.
Gressel could very well start on Sunday, but the consistent play of Larentowicz and Carmona could come back to haunt Gressel’s recent drop in form.
Center Midfielder #2: Carlos Carmona.
Attacking Midfielder: Miguel Almiron. Mi amore.
Left Winger: Yamil Asad. He was named to ESPN FC’s “Best Value” MLS Starting XI. That’s saying something.
Right Winger: Hector Villalba. I don’t care what people say. As long as Villalba is contributing to wins, that’s all that should matter in my opinion.
Striker: Kenwyne Jones. He wasn’t great last week, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Martino switch Jones out. However, I’ll stick with the Trinidadian.
We’re technically on #Josefwatch considering this match was the earliest expected return date for Martinez, but no substantial news has come out of the camp in regards to the Venezuelan. Don’t expect him to emerge out of the tunnel and score ten more goals on D.C., though we probably shouldn’t put it past him at this point.
To recap, here’s my projected starting XI against D.C. United.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.