Well, this isn’t good.
After the news that Julian Gressel is doubtful to play for Atlanta United thanks to an ankle injury, it means that the club is a down a big piece as it faces Monterrey for the first leg of its Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal matchup. It’s probably all up to Atlanta and Sporting Kansas City to win this thing for MLS, too: both New York Red Bulls and the Houston Dynamo took 2-0 losses at home last night.
The big question
Which Atlanta United team will we see this evening at Monterrey? It goes without saying that Atlanta need to play the aggressor right out of the gate and potentially look to grab a key road goal. However, that might be hampered because several of the first-choice players - Josef Martinez, Brek Shea, Darlington Nagbe, the entire back line - went all 90 minutes at D.C. United on Sunday. I’m interested to see how their fitness levels will be.
Predicted Atlanta United lineup vs. Herediano in Concacaf Champions League
- Obviously the big news is Gressel missing from the right wing, so I’ve slotted Gordon Wild there. While Atlanta’s options are thin there, Wild has seen time in the 18 and slotted at RWB during preseason. Frank de Boer’s attempt to put Mikey Ambrose there on Sunday didn’t work so I doubt he’d do it again in a much bigger match.
- This is an intriguing option. Not sure if de Boer will do it, but...
If Gressel's ankle keeps him out of the lineup tomorrow night, give Barco a go at RWB.— Felipe Cardenas (@FelipeCar) March 6, 2019
Ezequiel Barco at RWB and Tito Villalba up front? Interesting.
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments.