Atlanta United hits the road for the first time in 2022 for Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids, and it’s sure to be a tough test. Despite the fact that last year’s Western Conference champions haven’t gotten off to the greatest of starts in 2022, playing at altitude in Colorado always presents its own set of challenges for any team.
Who will head coach Gonzalo Pined rely on to get the result? Here’s Dirty South Soccer’s predicted Starting XI:
- Right wing is an obvious area that is up for grabs with Luiz Araujo out. Pineda may very well elect to go with Dom Dwyer here, particularly for fitness reasons. It’s clear that Pineda was not willing to use Brook Lennon for 70 minutes last week, and if that’s the case, can Lennon start this week? That is the question, but there’s also some incentive to try to prioritze Lennon over Dwyer in this position so that Pineda has a reliable striker on the bench he can use as a late-game attacking option or reliever for Josef Martinez.
- Despite George Campbell holding his own in the season debut against Sporting Kansas City, Alan Franco will surely step back into the starting role alongside Miles Robinson. Do not expect a back 3, even though the team has three capable CBs. It’s not something Pineda wants to do tactically.
- Unfortunately for Pineda, he will not be getting back any of the players who were out last week aside from Alan Franco. That means [deep inhale] Santiago Sosa, Franco Ibarra, Thiago Almada, Machop Chol, Jake Mulraney, Emerson Hyndman and Luiz Araujo are all unavailable.