With Atlanta United experiencing an insanely hectic schedule at the moment, Frank de Boer looks set to rotate his squad on Wednesday when the team goes on its longest road trip of the year. The Five Stripes must travel to their furthest possible away destination for a midweek match in Vancouver after coming off of a three matches in seven days stretch. Needless to say, it’s time for some important players to rest.
We now know two players who are guaranteed not to play against the Whitecaps. De Boer announced at his Monday media availability that Michael Parkhurst and Darlington Nagbe will not even travel with the team up to Canada and will instead get a breather and presumably start against the Red Bulls at the weekend.
While two players will get some rest, don’t expect widespread changes throughout the team. De Boer tells MLSSoccer.com that he will rotate, but won’t completely change his team.
“It’s also a chance for other players to show themselves,” said De Boer. “I will do some rotation, but I’m not going to do like some other teams maybe that they do eight or nine or something like that. We are in good [form] and we want to keep that.”
Parkhurst and Nagbe being the two to stay behind makes sense. The captain has been platooning with Brek Shea at left back and after starting against Orlando at the weekend, him getting a rest for this trip is probably wise. In addition, Nagbe seemingly has played every single minute since working his way back into the lineup early in the season after a personal disagreement with the club left him behind the squad fitness wise. Resting him also makes complete sense.
As I mentioned in my post-game opinion article, I’m very surprised to not see Julian Gressel on this list as well. Maybe he’ll still get a rest with a place on the bench, but he’s looked fatigued and injured for the past few games. But this is why I’m behind a computer and De Boer is paid to make these informed decisions.
Who do you think will be rested? Which reserve players do you want to see get a chance in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments.