Coming off a messy first month of the season as far as player availability is concerned, Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda will be happy to have some selection headaches as the team rolls into the nation’s capital for Saturday’s match against D.C. United.
There is some bad news, mind you. Pineda will have a tough decision to make concerning his best central defender, Miles Robinson, who is coming off 270 minutes of action over the international break including multiple flights to Mexico, then to Orlando, to Costa Rica, and now rejoining the team in D.C. In addition, the team’s leading goalscorer Josef Martinez is also coming off a busy international break with Venezuela.
However, Thiago Almada seems set for his full debut as a starter in the team this week after plenty of time to train over the last two weeks. And we are likely to see a bigger role for Santiago Sosa after coming off the bench for the first time this season last week against Montreal.
Here’s our lineup prediction for the weekend:
- Ultimately, I think Pineda will opt to rest Miles, especially given that Franco and Campbell would’ve had plenty of time to train together this week, just as they did for a bulk of preseason.
- I think Pineda will be eager to test the 4-2-3-1 shape used against Montreal with a more preferred pair of holding CMs with Sosa coming into the team.
- It seems safe to assume Lennon will play RB after Ronald Hernandez had a poor performance last time out in addition to his missing training while away with Venezuela. The bigger question is who replaces Lennon at RW. My guess is Mulraney, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rossetto in this lineup — maybe not playing in a traditional RW role but as a wide midfielder.