Last Tuesday’s win and qualification against Motagua were highly impressive, and we saw the team take shape into what can be an exciting season. Atlanta United won 3-0 with goals from Pity and Josef. Atlanta played with a backline of three with Mulraney at left wing-back making his official team debut in the CCL.
It was somewhat expected that De Boer was going to play a backline of three since that’s what they trained with all season, but surprising due to the injuries and visa troubles the squad is having.
With the 3-4-2-1 (or 3-4-3), Atlanta completely dominated the game and an excellent all-around performance from the team to seal qualification into the next round of the CCL.
I don’t believe De Boer is going to make a change in the line-up. Yes, Mulraney’s performance maybe wasn’t what he had hoped, but he still needs to adapt to his new role, and we must give him time to do so.
My predicted XI:
Defense: Guzan-Franco Escobar-Fernando Meza-Anton Walkes
The defense is going to remain the same after a dominating performance. A bit rusty at first, but normal, they were all over Motagua’s attack and kept a clean sheet as a reward. Fernando Meza’s performance at the center was incredible, and having physical and pace next to him like Anton Walkes and Escobar can prove crucial to any team press.
Midfield: Lennon, Hyndman, Remedi, Mulraney
Eric Remedi looked back to his best, showing that never-ending fight he has (seriously, does that guy ever get tired?). He deserves the start after two pretty convincing performances. Hyndman, who’s under the microscope, performed better than how he did in Guatemala. He’s getting back in rhythm, and with Rossetto still out, he places in the line up secured. Mulraney probably was the worst of the bunch in the midfield playing in his unnatural position as a left wing-back, but understandable, we have to give him time to adapt to his new role.
THE PB&J. They had Kennesaw rocking on Tuesday night with their build-up plays and connection. They looked great and ready to live the hype as one of MLS’s best-attacking trio.
Look for more of these type plays between the Josef and Pity. They’re finally getting a good understanding of each other play style, and it’s looking really good.
On the injured list, we still have Miles Robinson, center back, out with a hamstring. Bello, left-back, is back in training last week after a big scare and is still getting match fit. Castillo, left-back, still has his fractured rib injury.
Rossetto is still out with problems involving his visa, but De Boer said he has a meeting in Brazil Friday regarding the issue. Castro, on the other hand, has been approved on his visa and will be joining the team in a couple of days.
Things to look for:
Formation changes are always big in this team, they can start with a 3-4-3, but with one sub, it can change into a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Watch for subs on early to take their opportunity since Atlanta is only on three days of rest.
One to Watch:
El Pity, Martinez. Look for him to continue his excellent form for Atlanta. This is the Pity we all want to see, and the Pity we all hoped to watch play last season, took him some time to adapt and get settled here, but I’m glad, as sure everyone is, to see him performing his best for Atlanta.