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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI vs. Toronto FC

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Luiz Araujo is available!

SOCCER: AUG 15 MLS - LAFC at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Wednesday, Rob Valentino’s interim head coaching spell with Atlanta United comes to an end, and it’s likely that it won’t be his last-ever time in charge of an MLS team. Valentino’s to be applauded for maintaining a sense of positivity and hard work within the ranks even during the transition between Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Pineda. Fortunately, he’s not going far, as he’ll be on Pineda’s staff alongside incoming assistant Diego de la Torre.

As for Atlanta itself, it will look to extend its winning streak to 3 matches as Toronto FC pay a visit. And a new face will be on the bench as Luiz Araújo is available for selection for the first time since being signed from Lille. Will Valentino introduce him into the lineup right away? Here’s how I think it will shake out:

GK: Brad Guzan (c)

LWB: George Bello

RWB: Brooks Lennon

CB: Anton Walkes

CB: Miles Robinson

MF: Santiago Sosa

MF: Matheus Rossetto

CM: Ezequiel Barco

CM: Marcelino Moreno

RW: Luiz Araujo

ST: Josef Martinez

I wrestled a bit with the idea of not putting Araujo in since things had been going well over the last 2 matches, but I’m for him starting. It will probably mean an end to the 3-man centerback unit we’ve seen in recent days and Alan Franco not in the lineup as a result. That’s for Rob Valentino to decide, though.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments.