After Atlanta United’s second win in a row came against New York City FC, the Five Stripes will look to win three consecutive matches for the first time in its short history this Saturday in Cascadia, as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Will there be any changes to our goal-happy starting XI of weeks past?
Like Atlanta, I’m also on a hot streak of two consecutive correct predictions, tied for my season high. Let’s make history and set new personal records. Here is the definite, surefire lineup for June 3rd.*
*I’m probably wrong.**
**If you’re keeping up, that’s five correct predictions and seven incorrect this season.
Formation: 4-3-3. Tata’s back!
Goalkeeper: Alec Kann. Brad Guzan’s callup to the USMNT puts his Atlanta United debut on hold.
Left Back: Greg Garza. I’m always a little concerned picking Garza because it’s so hard to account for the matches he decides to rest for, but I guess I don’t really have a choice. Although, if he’s going to rest any match, it would probably be the longest road trip of the season to Vancouver.
Center Back #1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst.
Right Back: Tyrone Mears.
Center Midfielder #1: Carlos Carmona.
Center Midfielder #2: Jeff Larentowicz. In my opinion, he’s become indispensable, even when Josef Martinez returns.
Attacking Midfielder: Miguel Almiron. I love him.
On another note, even though he was called up to play for the Paraguay national team for friendlies against France on June 2nd and Peru on June 8th, Atlanta United isn’t obligated to release him for the first friendly since it doesn’t fall under the official FIFA dates of June 5th to 13th. However, for the match against Peru, it seems like Atlanta will have to allow him to go, which means he’ll likely miss the June 10th fixture against the Chicago Fire. But for Vancouver, Almiron should be available.
Left Winger: Yamil Asad. He’s tied for second in MLS in assists with six, and somehow I feel like we’re underrating him. This looks like an incredible piece of business from the Atlanta United front office. Let’s hope Asad’s loan turns into a permanent move.
Right Winger: Julian Gressel. Man, I went from filing a missing persons report for Gressel just a few weeks ago, to praising his play. Both his assists against NYCFC were a result of hard work to get the ball back and an incredibly high IQ to play the ball back to Almiron rather than just cross the ball into the box and hope someone got a touch. Well done, rookie.
Striker: Hector Villalba. An Atlanta United tap-in could be nominated for MLS Goal of the Week and it would win by a landslide. Still, impressive goal from Tito.
To recap, here’s my projected starting XI against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.