Well, so much for that six-match winning streak to end the season. Atlanta United suffered a poor loss to Columbus Crew SC last week at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but shook off a slow start on Wednesday evening at FC Cincinnati to come away with a 2-0 win. Its next challenge: a home match against a tricky San Jose Earthquakes that is a threat to get some goals on the board. Let’s hope this one ends up as a win without the drama of last year.
From a standings standpoint, Atlanta are already in, but a win guarantees it at least a 3rd-place finish in the Eastern Conference a 1st-round home playoff match.
Atlanta United’s Projected Starting XI against the San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-2)
Forwards: Josef Martinez - Pity Martinez
Same deal here. Let’s hope for more of what we saw on Wednesday against Cincy.
Midfield: Emerson Hyndman - Eric Remedi - Darlington Nagbe
Still no Barco, so Hyndman gets another start here. Let’s hope that the Boat gets all fixed up before playoff time rolls around.
Outside backs: Justin Meram - Julian Gressel
It was a frustrating night for Meram on Wednesday, who came off for Dion Pereira during the second half of the win against FC Cincinnati. Hopefully he can shake that off today.
Defense: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - Miles Robinson - Franco Escobar
LGP is two yellows away from another one-game suspension for accumulation.
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan
Guzan is 2 clean sheets away from tying the MLS record of 16, set by Hall of Famer Tony Meola in 2000 with the Kansas City Wizards. Big tip of the hat to the defense in front of him for its work in that.
As always, let me know what you think down in the comments.