Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI vs. Chattanooga FC

Atlanta United, still holders US Open The Cup, their journey to defend the Cup begins tonight when the club welcomes Chattanooga FC at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw tonight.

The predictions of a game lineup like this is really a tricky job, so hey my name is Joe reporting quests.

Notes:

  • When you look at the list, if Pineda doesn’t play with two strikers, it seems to me that one of Thiago Almada, Marcelino Moreno or Luiz Araujo would need to start. It’s hard for me to see Pineda want to put Araujo in that position given the injury situation, Moreno and Almad have been playing a lot and obviously all cylinders will need to be shot this weekend in the league game against Miami. So I’m a little daring here expecting more of a 4-4-2 figure with Dom Dwyer and Jackson Conway in the selection.
  • While Mickey Ambrose is certainly vying to make the team – which in turn could propel Wiley into the LW role he excelled at in MLS – Ambrose also played Saturday’s 90 minutes on the road with Atlanta United 2 which probably isn’t ideal. At left-back – a role he would do more attacking than anything else against an over-the-top opponent – Caleb Wiley seems to make more sense.
  • It’s a really open question who Pineda will pick in the back. I’m inclined to think AlexDe John will be out, and Alan Franco didn’t show up on Saturday with an ankle injury (although he was fully involved in training on Monday).
  • In midfield, Ibarra may have come out of Saturday’s game with the insight he would have shown on his first start to the season in this one. Next to it, I didn’t want to pick Hyndman because I generally think we should be wary about how often it’s used during this reintegration period. But he would have put in a bit of energy in the match against Sensei (he played 10 minutes), while the other contenders for this role played heavy minutes and could use a break (specifically considering Sejdic). It is clear that Hyndman will be designated as a player who needs a sub in either the first half or 60 minutes.
  • With the wings, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them flip and play on their “normal” sides (the sides of their stronger feet), especially if the team is playing with two strikers. Chattanooga will sit deep and try to bridge the middle as much as possible, so there may be more room to work if they play wider as the more normal flankers.
  • I expect this post is going to look pretty silly when the listings are released around 6:30 PM, so join me and be wrong with me. Who is in your eleventh?

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