Any hope of a Giorgos Giakoumakis vs. Josef Martinez showdown on Saturday won’t come to pass as Atlanta United faces its former striker and his new team, Inter Miami CF. Giakoumakis has been ruled out of the contest as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury suffered against Chicago Fire FC on April 23. Giakomakis’ injury saw him miss Atlanta’s U.S. Open Cup match against Memphis 901 FC as well as its league contest at Nashville SC. He trained earlier in the week but wasn’t on the pitch on Thursday, so it’s not known if it’s more of a precaution or if it’s a setback in his recovery.
Another name that will be missing from the Atlanta ranks will be Franco Ibarra, who is in concussion protocol. Ibarra hasn’t played since the Open Cup (he went the entire match) but went in the protocol on Wednesday. Midfield has been a major area of concern for Atlanta United, so it will be interesting to see what option Gonzalo Pineda embraces there.
On top of that, Atlanta announced in Friday’s availability report that Luiz Araujo has been ruled questionable due to an adductor injury.
Miami are also short some key players. Club captain Gregore has been out since March after foot surgery following a Lisfranc injury and won’t return until September. On Thursday, it was announced that midfielder Jean Mota suffered an LCL injury early in the Herons’ win against the Columbus Crew (despite carrying on the entire match) and will require surgery on Friday. He will miss “approximately four to six months”.
In addition, Rodolfo Pizarro is “doubtful” for Saturday. Pizarro has an assist in eight matches in his first season back from a loan to Monterrey.