With all the fun and games over with the MLS All-Star Game down in Orlando, the attention and focus moves back to MLS starting off with the most anticipated match of the weekend between Atlanta United and LA Galaxy. Atlanta are coming off road loss to LAFC last friday in Los Angeles and they look to make up for that loss with a win over the LA Galaxy who are without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he is suspended because of yellow card accumulation, great news for United. With the return of Ezequiel Barco back from his injury and being 100% fit, Zeke, Pity and Josef should all be starting together. If you saw Zeke last night play in the MLS All-Star game, he was definitely ready to get back on the field with him making quick sprints, winning loose balls, and earning free kicks in good positions it was a great performance. All-time United have had LA Galaxy’s number with two victories, one back in 2017 with a whopping result of 4-0 for United at home and then a road win in LA 0-2 last season. Without Ibrahimovic on the field for LA, this eliminates the Galaxy’s best player, goalscorer and finisher thus making the Galaxy’s job much, much harder to salvage any kind of positive result in Atlanta. With this in mind, Atlanta have plenty of ways to pick apart and take control of the game, especially early on in the match, once United get that first goal then the floodgates will open for players like Josef, Pity and Zeke to make a statement that United mean serious business. Let’s be honest, on the road United are not so good and that is a thing they have to fix if they want to win MLS Cup, but at home with only one loss this year to F.C. Dallas the 5-Stripes are invincible at home against anyone and any team they face. As fans, we hope that every next game Pity will breakout and score a hat-trick to prove the media, haters and even FDB wrong. Pity and FDB have had a rocky relationship since the start of the season and have had their disagreements, we hope that at some point during the season Pity will get better and improve, but he has been doing better that past few games even though on the stat sheet it might say 0 assists and 0 goals, the guy is a fighter and he cares about the game. We all saw last week when he got subbed off last week against LAFC and he was livid with Head Coach Frank De Boer, no handshake or anything he went straight to the bench. We all want the situation to improve, but it will take time and lots and lots of practice, things will get better, trust the process.
In this week’s injury report, Tito Villalba has returned to training with the first team alongside midfielder Kevin Kratz which is a good sign for both players. If Tito does not return this Saturday vs. LA, then hopefully he’ll be back to face Orlando on August 6th in the Semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup, we need the lion tamer back on the field. With LGP also being suspended for the match on Saturday vs. the LA Galaxy due to yellow card accumulation, expect a change in the lineup but in my opinion De Boer should stick with 5 in the back, 3 or 4 in the midfield and the king himself up top at striker. Atlanta United’s goal for this match is simple, win and move on to the next one and with the schedule getting more difficult and time restrained on them, it is not going to be an easy month of August for Atlanta United. VAMOS UNITED!
Atlanta United vs. LA Galaxy will be on Saturday, August 3rd at 5 P.M. live on FOX and FOX Deportes.
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Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG