Atlanta United FC head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino announced on Friday that midfielder Ezequiel Barco will remain out of the lineup for a third consecutive game, but did note the player is "fulfilling our expectations."
Barco has missed the last two league matches for Atlanta due to what Martino previously announced was an "act of indiscipline."
“Next week he will train normally, just like he has been, and we’re going to take it as we always have,” Martino said, as reported on Pro Soccer USA on Friday. “I understand it’s been a difficult period for him, but as I said before, he misbehaved and misbehavior has consequences and he still has to deal with those consequences. From now on, it’s going to be my decision on looking at how’s he doing every week to decide.”
Atlanta United host Toronto FC in a nationally-televised game on Saturday (4 pm ET | ESPN - Full TV & Streaming Info). Barco was in action midweek, playing 30 minutes and nearly scoring on a sharply-hit volley attempt against Juventus in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, on Wednesday.
“He’s fulfilling our expectations. He’s training very well,” Martino added in the Pro Soccer USA report. “The original plan was: We made a decision, both the club and the coaching staff. And now from this point on, that ended. And what’s coming now is only my decision.”