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Armchair Analyst: One big question for Atlanta United

One Big Question: Is this personnel/tactical/cultural overhaul going to continue, and will it all be worth it?

They got rid of basically everybody who played on the left side last year. Justin Meram, Brek Shea, Mikey Ambrose, Florentin Pogba? All gone.

All of those guys, together, don't match the impact of selling Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. The Argentine CB was just as fiery but more mistake-prone in 2019 than he had been in 2017 or 2018, but even with the gaffes he was an almost constant positive for this team, along with being one of the better quotes in the league. He is more than just an on-field absence.

And Michael Parkhurst retired, and Darlington Nagbe was traded. And maybe there are more moves to come?

Here's the story as it stands right now: This is Frank De Boer's team. Not in its entirety – not yet, anyway – but there's no more "learning curve" excuse to lean on this year. De Boer is building the roster he wants, and is going to try to make them play the style of soccer he wants.

For what it's worth, I think "will this all be worth it?" is the question in Atlanta this year. Because the direction they were pointed in under Tata Martino sure did seem to be a positive one.