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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting lineup at San Jose Earthquakes

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Rest?

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After their comfortable win against the Colorado Rapids, Atlanta United travels further west to take on the struggling San Jose Earthquakes. Tata Martino put out a surprising lineup last Saturday, but it was quite effective. Does he stick with the same guys or will he give some of them a break as they look ahead to Real Salt Lake on Saturday? Let’s do our best to pick the coach’s brain.

Here is the definite, surefire lineup for Sept. 19.*

*I’m probably wrong.

Formation: 3-5-2. Having a fifth player to track back when the other team is trying to counter is great against weaker teams because that’s the only way they seem to score on Atlanta. It would be a welcomed sight to see Martino implement this formation against clubs we should convincingly beat and then retain the 4-3-3 against the quality teams that could do a lot of damage when we allow them substantial possession of the ball.

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.

Center Back #1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.

Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst.

Center Back #3: Jeff Larentowicz. If the Rapids match proved anything, it’s that Martino adores Larentowicz. The fact he chose him over Escobar is telling in a sense, as if he feels the MLS veteran needs to be playing almost every match. That’s just how valuable he is in the eyes of Martino. Now, do you really start him on short rest in a somewhat unfamiliar position again? That’s going to be the big lineup-related storyline to look out for.

Left Wingback: Chris McCann. I’d love to see George Bello here, but that’s probably wishful thinking for a coach like Martino who hasn’t thrown this young of a player into the fire to this extent before.

Right Wingback: Julian Gressel.

Central Midfielder #1: Eric Remedi.

Central Midfielder #2: Darlington Nagbe. What a way to re-introduce yourself into the lineup. He was excellent.

Attacking Midfielder: Miguel Almiron.

Striker #1: Josef Martinez. No goals in two matches is unacceptable, Josef. It’s like you don’t even want to smash the record.

Striker #2: Tito Villalba.

I always feel weird putting the same lineup out as the previous match, but a mixture of believing this is the best lineup available, Martino having a history of not resting players, and his comment earlier in the week about not being a manager who likes to change things up very much makes me think he stays put in terms of the lineup for now.

To recap, here’s my projected lineup against the San Jose Earthquakes.

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