It’s pretty cool having another team to get predictions wrong for now. This will be even more casual of a breakdown, as hard as that might be to believe.
I’m irrationally excited for Atlanta United 2. Something about the different player storylines that make up this team excites me. There are USL players, first teamers looking for minutes, homegrowns looking to prove their worth on a professional stage, and potentially some academy players hoping to get a shot. That’s really fun.
So, how does that shape up in the form of a lineup? Here is the definite, surefire lineup for March 24.*
*i’m probably wrong.
Formation: 4-3-3. Although the first team switched to a 3-5-2 for their last match, Scott Donnelly and a couple of the AU2 players have consistently hinted at staying in a 4-3-3.
Goalkeeper: Alec Kann. He was added to Saturday’s roster on Thursday. There’s probably a reason for that.
Left Back: Mikey Ambrose. No Jose Hernandez(injured) and no George Bello(academy duties) makes this pretty obvious.
Center Back #1: A.J. Cochran. The first non-first team player mentioned, and in my opinion, the likely captain for the reserves.
Center Back #2: Miles Robinson.
Right Back: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu. Shawn Nicklaw’s callup to the Guam national team leaves this spot open entirely to the man from Harvard.
Central Midfielder #1: Jack Metcalf. At 26, he’s the third oldest USL-specific player, behind Nicklaw(28) and Nicolas Caraux(27). That’s kind of crazy.
Central Midfielder #2: Oliver Shannon. He’ll join his fellow Clemson alumnus centrally.
Attacking Midfielder: Jon Gallagher. We got a very small sample size of the 2018 first round pick during the first team’s preseason. Let’s see what he can do with some consistent playing time.
Left Winger: Brian Gambarte. The loanee from Newell’s Old Boys played with flare during the preseason and is not afraid to try and embarass an opposing defender. He’ll be a fan favorite.
Right Winger: Lagos Kunga. No one player has benefited more from Atlanta’s academy than Kunga. His growth over the past two years has been nothing short of staggering. The attack will be focused around his play. Let’s see how the homegrown handles the responsibility in a professional environment.
Striker: Devon Sandoval. The newly signed veteran brings more MLS experience than anyone else on the roster and it’s not even close. A leader is likely needed to guide what is a very young attack. Also, don’t let his official announcement coming on Thursday make you think he just joined the team. Sandoval was likely on trial for a couple weeks and has trained with the team regularly.
Subs: BONUS CONTENT ALERT. Here are the players that should be available off the bench.
GK: Nicolas Caraux, Paul Christensen
DF: Andrew Kendall-Moullin
MF: Laurent Kissiedou, Gaston Cardozo, Jose Carranza, Kevin Barajas
ST: Yosef Samuel, Diego Lopez
To recap, here’s my projected starting lineup against NYRB II.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.