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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting lineup at Chicago Fire

I put my streak on the line during international play.

MLS: New York City FC at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing result in Vancouver, the Five Stripes will look to get back to winning ways against a Chicago Fire club that hasn’t lost since April. Miguel Almiron and Kenwyne Jones likely won’t start due to international duties, so what will the starting XI look like?

I’ve guessed the lineup correctly three matches in a row, a personal best. Let’s try and keep the good times going, shall we? Here is the definite, surefire lineup for June 10th.*

*I’m probably wrong.

Formation: 4-3-3. No need to make any drastic changes.

Goalkeeper: Alec Kann.

Left Back: Greg Garza. He became the first defender to score for Atlanta United.

Center Back #1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.

Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst.

Right Back: Tyrone Mears. I’m tempted to call Mark Bloom in. Mears’ performances over the past few weeks have been so uninspiring.

Center Midfielder #1: Carlos Carmona.

Center Midfielder #2: Jeff Larentowicz. From this point on, the center mid tandem will be known as Chile & The Redhead.

Attacking Midfielder: Kevin Kratz. Man, this is the tricky question. Who replaces Miggy? I’m going with Kratz for a couple different reasons. One, when he has come on for Atlanta, he’s been much more attack-minded than Chris McCann has. Tata Martino should favor that. Two, I feel like the partnership that the trifecta of Yamil Asad, Julian Gressel and Hector Villalba have formed shouldn’t be tampered with for just a short-term problem like the international break, at least until Josef Martinez is ready to return to the XI.

Martinez likely won’t start, and Brandon Vazquez, Andrew Carleton and Jacob Peterson haven’t played often enough recently to warrant moving the usual front three around. Not to mention, assuming Gressel would be the player moved to the CAM role if one of the three were to drop down, he’s thrived on the wing. Why would you change that?

Kratz just seems like the best choice for this week, in my opinion.

Left Winger: Yamil Asad.

Right Winger: Julian Gressel. MLS Rookie of the Year? So far, absolutely.

Striker: Hector Villalba.

To recap, here’s my projected starting XI against the Chicago Fire.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.