Welcome home, y’all. Atlanta United finally returns to the Benz for tonight’s home opener against FC Cincinnati. The stadium is opened up to full capacity to mark the occasion, and while there’s no word as to whether the roof will be open (probably not), we can rest assured that there will be no rain to worry about during the match.
While the stadium may be full, there will be a large presence missing inside, as Josef’s absence being the big storyline of the evening. Franco Escobar, Miles Robinson, and Edgar Castillo join him on the injury list. Frank de Boer continues to be forced to show his creative side tactically with the number of absent players rising, but will have new options in Manuel Castro and Mattheus Rossetto, two offseason signings that have just joined the squad after sorting their visa issues out in their home countries.
Last week’s season opener was about as rough as a win can get, a back and forth battle with MLS newcomers Nashville SC that left the Five Stripes a little banged up. After a week of recovery and ironing out tactical wrinkles, the team is handed FC Cincinnati, who finished last season bottom of the league in their first year of MLS play. It’s the same second fixture as last season, where Cincy escaped with a 1-1 draw and then celebrated it with a t-shirt. This year may be equally rocky for the Ohioans, with a recently vacant coaching role and opening day loss to a rebuilding Red Bulls kicking off their year.
How will de Boer counter Josef’s absence in the lineup? How will former Five Stripes Greg Garza and Brandon Vasquez perform against their old team? Discuss everything that goes down in the comments below as we welcome Atlanta United back home.
Atlanta United’s Lineup:
FC Cincinnati’s Lineup:
How to Watch:
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Kickoff Time: Saturday, March 7; 7:00 PM EST
Available TV: FOX Sports South
Available Streaming: FOX Sports Go, ESPN+ (out of market)
Available Radio: Star 94.1, La Mejor 1600 AM
This thread will be your match thread. We don’t have many rules here. We just ask that you don’t insult each other personally and treat each other with respect. Debates can get heated and that’s fine, but name-calling and petty insults will get you banned. If you see a comment that you feel is out of line, please report it and it will be dealt with.
Dirty South Soccer has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.