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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI at Orlando City

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Brought to you by fixture congestion.

SOCCER: AUG 18 MLS - Atlanta United FC at Portland Timbers

Note: I’m going to try a little bit different of a format today with the projected starting XI to allow me to elaborate on each part of the lineup a little more in-depth. Let me know what you think. I’ll still have the graphical formation, though.

Atlanta United’s in a bit of a tight spot.

For one, they take on Orlando City this evening in a match that has implications on its place in the standings. That’s not to mention the U.S. Open Cup final against Minnesota United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium just four days later. How does Frank de Boer balance the lineup tonight while ensuring that it’s as close to a fresh group as possible on Tuesday with a trophy on the line? I think it will work out, to some extent.

Atlanta United’s Projected Starting XI at Orlando City SC (3-5-2)

Forwards: Josef Martinez - Pity Martinez

Not much to say here. And yes, they’re starting on Tuesday as well.

Midfield: Justin Meram - Ezequiel Barco - Jeff Larentowicz - Darlington Nagbe - Julian Gressel

Things might get a little sticky here as far as how long some of the players go. Eric Remedi is officially listed as questionable, but I doubt he plays at all this evening - don’t be surprised to see him in the XI for the Open Cup final. Meram might come off around the half-hour mark or so in favor of Emerson Hyndman (or maybe Dion Pereira) to keep him somewhat fresh for Tuesday. Don’t be surprised to see Tito Villalba get some more minutes under his belt as well.

Defense: Florentin Pogba - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - Miles Robinson

Franco Escobar won’t be able to go tonight, so Pogba will get the call once more. It shouldn’t be as much of a challenge against Orlando’s attack as it was against Jeremy Ebobisse, so he should be fine after struggling at times to keep pace with the 22-year-old in Portland. My gut feeling says that Escobar’s in the XI on Tuesday.

GK: Brad Guzan.

Like the forwards, not much to say here.


So, in short, the same group as Sunday. Or will it be? Let me know in the comments.