After a frustrating draw against the Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United turns its attention to a D.C. United side looking to make something of their poor start to the season. Do we see Eric Remedi squeeze his way into the lineup after only training with the team for a week? If so, which regular starter gets left out? Let’s try and answer these questions.
Here is the definite, surefire lineup for July 21.*
*I’m probably wrong.
Formation: 4-3-3. This potentially answers the biggest lineup-related question. I’ll explain shortly.
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.
Left Back: Chris McCann. Tata Martino made it clear that he prefers McCann over Mikey Ambrose by giving him the start last week after only just one previous substitute appearance since returning from his hamstring injury.
Center Back #1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst.
Right Back: Franco Escobar. Try not to get a yellow card, Franco. Earn one today and you’re suspended for next week.
Central Midfielder #1: Jeff Larentowicz. Alrighty, so although Martino told reporters earlier this week that he’s very impressed by Remedi’s fitness and says that’s not an issue for him at this point, it’s still hard to imagine he would be ready to start after just one week of training with the team. He still needs to adjust tactically and develop an understanding on the field with his teammates. That’s extremely tough to do so quickly. Expect to see Remedi come off the bench, especially if Atlanta is winning and wants to protect their lead.
Earlier I mentioned that going with a 4-3-3 may have given away my thinking that Remedi won’t start. Once Remedi does start, it gives Martino the option to take Julian Gressel out of midfield and return him to the right wingback spot in a 3-5-2. It all depends on how much Martino trusts Remedi to play more creatively in the #8 role or if he can only see him as a true holding mid.
Central Midfielder #2: Julian Gressel.
Attacking Midfielder: Miguel Almiron.
Left Winger: Ezequiel Barco. He’s starting to find his way through matches. Yes, he’s the most expensive MLS transfer ever, but not every prodigal 19-year-old develops at the same time. The club understood what they were investing in: a young player with all the potential in the world but still a lot to learn. Barco will be OK.
Right Winger: Tito Villalba.
Striker: Josef Martinez.
To recap, here’s my projected lineup against D.C. United.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.