Alright, so Atlanta United has a very busy month ahead of them. They play eight matches in a span of 24 days. That is...a lot, in like a really short period of time. That's almost a fourth of their season in less than half the time Orlando City is taking to win a match.
Even though Tata Martino tends to not feel the need to give the players a rest, one would assume we'll see more rotation in this short period of time than we have all season. With that being said, it's probably a good idea to review what all our options are.
#1: Brad Guzan. Luckily, the goalkeeper position is one that doesn't need a lot of changing, even during a very condensed schedule. We'll almost certainly see Guzan start every match for the Five Stripes, barring injury.
#2: Alec Kann. Once he returns from injury, he'll be the clear #2 after what he was able to do the first half of the season.
#3: Kyle Reynish. He's been the preferred #2 while Kann is out.
#4: Alex Tambakis. Other than a couple inclusions on Atlanta's bench and a few appearances for the Charleston Battery, we really haven't seen much of the first ever Atlanta United signing this season.
#1: Greg Garza. It'll be interesting to see how often Martino rests Garza. He's picked up a few knocks throughout the season.
#2: Mikey Ambrose.
#3: Mark Bloom. I once predicted that Bloom would take Mears' starting right back spot at some point in the season. Obviously I meant Anton Walkes. They just look a lot alike, ya know?
Center Back #1:
#1: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. He's one of three Atlanta players to start every match this season. Does Martino give him a break at any point?
#2: Jeff Larentowicz. This is the first time you'll see me "cheat" and have a usual starter as a backup in another position, but Martino has shown throughout the season and especially the past couple matches that he doesn't mind dropping Larentowicz back in the occasional 3-man backline.
#3: Miles Robinson. He's made one U.S. Open Cup appearance for the club, and a handful of starts for the Battery.
Center Back #2:
#1: Michael Parkhurst. The second of three players that has started every match this season.
#2: Anton Walkes. He's a natural center back.
#3: Bobby Boswell. Newly acquired veteran, but yet to make the bench.
#4: Zach Loyd. He was placed on season-ending IR earlier in the month, so we definitely won't see him any time soon.
#1: Anton Walkes.
#2: Tyrone Mears. The legend himself. I wonder if his goal against the Philadelphia Union impresses Martino enough to start him in a few of the upcoming matches.
#3: Mark Bloom. He's played on both the left and right this season.
#4: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu. Although a midfielder at Harvard, he's played as a right back the few times he came on in preseason and the U.S. Open Cup.
#5: Zach Loyd. Started at right back during Atlanta's USOC match against Charleston.
Center Midfielder #1:
#1: Carlos Carmona. He'll be able to rest at some point during this stretch once he's inevitably suspended. I do love me some Carmona though.
#2: Kevin Kratz. He hasn't been included in the team ever since he gained green card status. Hopefully there isn't any kind of hiccup in that process.
#3: Harrison Heath. The former Sacramento Republic loanee and one of the funnier guys on the squad. Don't believe me? Watch his Snapchat. Don't expect him to get much playing time in a midfield that is quite deep, though.
#4: Chris Goslin. He's only 17, so him being toward the bottom of the depth chart shouldn't surprise anyone. Plus, considering he'll almost certainly be preparing for the U-17 World Cup which takes place in October, don't get your hopes up about a Goslin debut. Although, I am quite excited for that day to come.
Center Midfielder #2:
#1: Jeff Larentowicz. The man that never rests.
#2: Chris McCann. Coming off his first regular season start for Atlanta, I'm sure we'll be seeing more of him the rest of the season.
#3: Julian Gressel. We saw him in this role early into the campaign, and it didn't really work out. However, if push comes to shove, Gressel could be a realistic last resort.
#4: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu. Like I said, he was a midfielder at Harvard. So, yeah.
#1: Miguel Almiron.
#2: Julian Gressel. As you’ll come to find out, there isn’t a true replacement for Almiron in the CAM position. Even Gressel barely plays in that role nowadays.
#3: Kevin Kratz. The couple occasions where Kratz has come on as a CAM, it’s always been to replace Almiron while Atlanta is trying to preserve a lead. Remember that Kratz was the one who set up Josef Martinez’s goal against the Columbus Crew after he won the ball back in the dying minutes of the match. That’s the perfect description of Kratz’s role when he does play higher up. Be scrappy, pressure defenders, and attempt to force miscues.
#4: Yamil Asad. The only reason he's not above Kratz here is because last match against the Union was the first time we've really seen Asad at CAM. Now granted, he was very efficient in that role. I'll be curious to see if Martino plays Asad centrally more often.
#1: Yamil Asad.
#2: Miguel Almiron. We've seen Miggy start or eventually end up on the left a few times.
#3: Andrew Carleton. Yeah, there really is not a lot of clear depth here. I say "clear" because we haven't seen Gressel, Hector Villalba, or Brandon Vazquez tried out as inverted wingers or Jacob Peterson given an opportunity to play on his preferred foot.
Also take into consideration that Carleton will more than likely miss most of the rest of the season with U-17 national team duties. The depth on the left is completely lacking.
#1: Hector Villalba.
#2: Julian Gressel. He seems to be preferred slightly over Vazquez at the moment, but it really is almost 50/50 between the two for the backup spot.
#3: Brandon Vazquez.
#4: Jacob Peterson. He's scored twice this season. Not a bad #4 to have at all.
#5: Andrew Carleton. The youngster has shown with the U-18 academy team his ability to operate on both sides of the pitch.
#6: Jeffrey Otoo. Current Charleston Battery great, future Atlanta United legend.
#1: Josef Martinez.
#2: Hector Villalba. The natural winger has shown he's capable of scoring and assisting from up top. It's just not necessarily ideal to have someone who already starts in their usual position being the backup for another.
#3: Brandon Vazquez. He's replaced Kenwyne Jones in the role of "tall person that could potentially head crosses in but won't because no one on ths club knows how to cross".
#4: Kenwyne Jones. If I told you before the season began that Jones would be the 4th choice striker, how many people would've believed me?
#5: Romario Williams. Hopefully we see him in red and black next season. He's been sensational for the Battery.
For a full recap, here's a depth chart that's actually a chart.
Let us know what you think! Who would you like to see get more playing time?