It should be a full-throated crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this afternoon as Atlanta United are honored as MLS champions before it takes the field against FC Cincinnati. And hopefully it’s a win against the debutants, who are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders last week.
The big question
Will we see heavy squad rotation today? I don’t know if we do. With Atlanta’s 3-0 loss at Monterrey, the Concacaf Champions League tie is essentially lost already barring a big comeback at the Benz on Wednesday. It might be that Frank de Boer realizes that the team must now shift its focus onto MLS and getting as many points as possible to put itself in a strong position early on in the season.
Predicted Atlanta United lineup vs. FC Cincinnati in Concacaf Champions League
- Julian Gressel won’t be able to go today, so there’s a chance that Gordon Wild could get a try at the RWB position. Mikey Ambrose - and again, this is not meant as a shot at him - just has not been the answer there, compromising the team’s ability to get good width on both sides of the pitch.
- I’ve put Andrew Carleton and Tito Villalba in the attack for Pity Martinez and Ezequiel Barco. While I did mention that the CCL tie against Monterrey looks to be unrecoverable, maybe holding Martinez and Barco out of starting this one and giving them a chance to give it a full go on Wednesday is an option de Boer discovers. A 3-0 lead is tough to come back from, but it’s not impossible...
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments.