Atlanta United FC vs. Minnesota United FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Hector Villalba, Yamil Asad - Atlanta United - TVA Sports

Atlanta United FC vs. Minnesota United FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Ga.
Tuesday, Oct. 3 – 7 pm ET

Nearly seven months after their memorable, snow-covered encounter, the two 2017 expansion teams will meet once again to kick off a shortened Week 31 slate.

Plenty has changed since that eventful March 12 meeting that saw Atlanta United run out 6-1 winners over Minnesota, though both teams’ seasons have played out as you might have expected from that scoreline. Atlanta have surpassed expectations and find themselves in the mix for a top-two position in the Eastern Conference, while Minnesota have struggled for much of the season though have shown marked improvement in recent weeks.

This time around, the teams will look a little different with both sides missing players to international duty and Atlanta star Miguel Almiron missing out through injury. Atlanta have plenty of talent to fall back on, though, with the Argentine duo of Yamil Asad and Hector Villalba looking to continue their recent runs of form.

Minnesota, while technically still in the playoff hunt, face extremely long odds and will be eliminated should they lose this game. With a number of key contributors, including Kevin Molino and Francisco Calvo, representing their countries in World Cup qualifying this week, the game should give head coach Adrian Heath a prime opportunity to continue his evaluations as the task of 2018 roster building approaches.

Atlanta United FC

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D Leandro Gonzalez Pirez
  • International Duty: Brad Guzan (USA), Josef Martinez (VEN), 
  • Injury Report: OUT – GK Alec Kann (quad injury), M Miguel Almiron (left hamstring injury), D Greg Garza (left hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Kyle Reynish – Tyrone Mears, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Chris McCann – Carlos Carmona, Jeff Larentowicz – Yamil Asad, Julian Gressel, Hector Villalba – Kenwyne Jones

Notes: Atlanta’s eight-game undefeated streak is the third-longest for an expansion team in MLS history, the longest since the San Jose Earthquakes went nine games without loss in their return season of 2008 (record: 11 games, Chicago Fire, 1998). … Atlanta also became the first expansion team in MLS history to record shutouts in four consecutive matches, now 392 minutes since their last goal allowed (also a record scoreless streak for an MLS expansion team).

Minnesota United FC

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International Duty: D Michael Boxall (NZL), F Johan Venegas (CRC)
  • Injury Report: OUT – M Bernardo Anor (left lower leg injury), M/D Thomas de Villardi (left Achilles injury), M Sam Cronin (head injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)

GK: Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Jermaine Taylor, Brent Kallman, Marc Burch – Ethan Finlay, Ibson, Collin Martin, Miguel Ibarra – Christian Ramirez, Abu Danladi

Notes: Minnesota United saw their two-game winning streak put to an end at Houston on Sept. 30, falling 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The two-game winning streak marked the first time in MNUFC’s MLS history they had won consecutive matches.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Atlanta 1 win (6 goals) … Minnesota 0 wins (1 goal) … Ties 0
  • At ATL: First meeting


Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Silviu Petrescu