Pineda had changed from a four-at-the-back formation to a back-three after leaking in so many goals due to defensive miscues, and many thought that he would continue that same idea in Atlanta’s 2-0 triumph over Seattle.
However, Pineda chose for a much more attacking formation and reverted back to the formation that Atlanta have typically played in: 4-2-3-1. Having Tristan Muyumba as a defensive midfielder (who’s been impressive in just two appearances) allows Pineda to have more attackers up front, and playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta will want to put on a show and dictate the game on their terms as they host Nashville.
The Five Stripes looked like a totally different side after last playing on July 29 in Leagues Cup vs Cruz Azul. Pineda’s team created numerous chances during the game Sunday night and the score could’ve been much more than 2-0.
While most of the players in the starting lineup are almost a given, there is one position in particular that is hard to nail down…
GK: Brad Guzan – The club captain started the season off in poor form but has been in decent form as the season has gone on, making two saves against Seattle Sounders while keeping a clean sheet. But there’s a high probability that this might be his last season with Atlanta.
RB: Brooks Lennon – One of the first names on the team sheet, and he’s proved that he can excel and provide teammates with adequate service from either right wing-back or right-back – tallying eight assists in MLS in 2023.
CB: Miles Robinson – The Five Stripes’ best option in defense, but are we watching the last few months of him in an Atlanta shirt?
CB: Luis Abram – In the first few months of the season, Juan ‘Juanjo’ Purata was getting most of the minutes at left center-back when Atlanta played with just two center-backs. But recently, Abram has been making the most of his opportunities in the position and could be in line for another start.
LB: Caleb Wiley – Like Lennon, Wiley has continued to show his versatility wherever he’s deployed at just 18-years-old, and his transfer value continues to increase as teams from abroad will no doubt be keeping an eye on the youngster.
DM: Matheus Rossetto – The Brazilian has underperformed in 2023 but has looked better as of late, especially in a midfield pairing with Muyumba.
DM: Tristan Muyumba – After only two appearances, it’s clear to see that Muyumba is the kind of midfielder Atlanta have been needing for quite some time. His dribbling and quick passes around the box are vital when the Five Stripes are suffocating teams with possession.
RM: Tyler Wolff – In 12 games in 2023 (four starts) Wolff has scored four goals and is always looking to make a sneaky run at the back post. Could he be in line for a start over Edwin Mosquera?
AM: Thiago Almada – Perhaps the first name on Pineda’s team sheet, Almada has been in top form in 2023 with eight goals and 10 assists. It seems he has taken kindly to the new No. 10 shirt that was most recently worn by Luiz Araujo.
LM: Xande Silva – In his first appearance and start for Atlanta, Silva looked electric and threatening when dribbling down the left-hand side. He also isn’t afraid to take his man on, the kind of player Atlanta have been missing.
ST: Giorgos Giakoumakis – The ‘Tank’ added two more goals to his collection against Seattle, scoring the only goals in the game and is now one goal behind Hany Mukhtar in the Golden Boot race with 12.
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