• Atlanta United taking LAFC friendly as serious game

    By: Doug Roberson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    LOS ANGELES - Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer said he is treating Sunday’s friendly against LAFC as a serious game.

    It will be the third friendly featuring players competing for first-team minutes. Atlanta United won its first two friendlies 7-1 against Seattle and 6-1 against Tijuana. Neither opponent was at full strength.

    After making numerous substitutions against Seattle, de Boer made less than three changes against Tijuana. He said that will also likely be the case against LAFC.

    The starting lineup against Tijuana featured striker Josef Martinez, midfielders Hector Villalba, Ezequiel Barco, Eric Remedi and Jeff Larentowicz, wingbacks Julian Gressel and Brek Shea, centerbacks Michael Parkhurst, Miles Robinson and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Pity Martinez came on for Villalba and Alec Kann came on for Guzan at halftime.

    Notably absent for the second consecutive game was Darlington Nagbe, though de Boer said that there’s a chance he could play against LAFC.

    De Boer implied that Pity Martinez, should he start, won’t play more than 60 minutes as he improves his conditioning.

    “Everyone is doing well, so they make my life difficult,” he said. “That’s not problem for me. It’s good to have choices.”

    Atlanta United has one more friendly scheduled against L.A. Galaxy on Wednesday.

    It will open its season against Herediano in Costa Rica in its debut in the Champions League.

    De Boer said he has an idea how he wants to play against Herediano.

    “There are still options left,” he said of the lineup.

    This article was written by Doug Roberson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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