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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI at Nashville SC

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Atlanta head on the road with a rash of players missing or questionable. Here’s how Heinze’s lineup could look.

SOCCER: SEP 23 MLS - FC Dallas at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the five seasons of Atlanta United’s existence, it’s not faced a player availability situation as dire as the one it’s facing starting Thursday at Nashville SC.

We already know that Emerson Hyndman is done with the year with an ACL. Three players—Brad Guzan, George Bello, and Miles Robinson—are with the U.S. men’s national team at the Gold Cup, while Ezequiel Barco is set to join the Argentina U-23s at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. And if it stopped there, it might be OK. But Franco Ibarra is out and five others, specifially Alan Franco, Jürgen Damm, Josef Martinez, Matheus Rossetto, and Santiago Sosa, are listed as questionable, with Martinez trending in the direction of “out”.

That, a 3-match losing streak where it’s failed to score a goal, and a trip to take on a Nashville team that’s yet to fall at Nissan Stadium are the perfect storm for a not-so-pleasant trip to Music City. Let’s try to predict the lineups:

GK—Alec Kann

LWB—Mikey Ambrose

CB—Alex De John

CB—Anton Walkes

RWB—Brooks Lennon

LM—Mo Adams

RM—Amar Sejdic

CM—Marcelino Moreno

LW—Jake Mulraney

RW—Erik Lopez

ST—Cubo Torres

Things are pretty straightforward at goalkeeper with Kann getting the call in place of the absent Guzan and set to make his first start with Atlanta United in any competition since Campeones Cup in 2019 and first in an MLS match since May 13, 2018. Ambrose will take Bello’s spot at left fullback. As far as centerback, De John should get the call—George Campbell is an option, but De John has experience in his favor.

I’m also expecting Sejdic to start in midfield with Adams. As far as everything else? That should be relatively “straightforward” as I expect Moreno serving in the role of a 10 and Heinze sticking to the forward group he used in Chicago, but this group is hurting for some positive momentum.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.