Well...this should be an interesting matchup. A couple of wooden spoon candidates in Atlanta United and the Colorado Rapids tangle at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where at least the roof will be open. We’ve already talked about what this match could mean for Atlanta and how it will may set the tone for the rest of the season - a loss could really turn the heat up on Frank de Boer, who’s losing confidence among a portion of the fanbase just a few matches into his tenure.
I’d expect this group to come out heavy on the attack to exploit a weak Colorado defense. The Rapids have given up the most goals in the league with 23 in just 8 games, so this match could see Atlanta really able to open things up and put it out of reach early. Interesting factoid: the Five Stripes have yet to score more than 2 goals this MLS season (They scored 4 against Herediano in the Concacaf Champions League).
- We know that Pity Martinez hasn’t been 100% fit, which is why we saw Tito Villalba start last week. It does sound like Martinez is full go so look for him to get the start on the left side. For Ezequiel Barco, he has slowly started to embrace the 10 role and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to grow into it.
- Eric Remedi is available for selection today, but I think de Boer eases him in. My guess would be that he comes on around the latter third of the match for Jeff Larentowicz and gets a nice 25-30 minute runout - of course, that might change based on the state of the match.
- Colorado’s struggling offense is why I put Franco Escobar in over Michael Parkhurst. The Rapids, like Atlanta, haven’t scored a great deal of goals, so hopefully there’s not much to do for the back line. On the other side of the coin, as I mentioned, Atlanta should look to be aggressive, and having a player like Escobar on the right that can be much more active than Parkhurst in the attack is a big plus.