Prior to Wednesday’s match, Atlanta United FC Head Coach Frank de Boer said he doesn’t know what to expect from FC Cincinnati.
On one hand, the Orange and Blue enter Nippert Stadium with momentum with their first win since mid-July. On the other, FCC keep rotating their lineups. In the past three games alone, Head Coach Ron Jans has made 19 changes to his starting XI.
Against the reigning MLS Cup champion tonight, he only made four.
About the starters
Fatai Alashe starts for the first time since June 22 in a home loss to the LA Galaxy. During that match, he sustained a hamstring injury midway through the game that kept him sidelined until Aug. 31 at FC Dallas.
This match is the first time Alashe has started an FCC match as a center midfielder – his natural position – and his first central start since last July when he played for the San Jose Earthquakes.
In addition to Alashe, Andrew Gutman, Nick Hagglund and Kekuta Manneh replace Darren Mattocks, Greg Garza and Kendall Waston in the lineup. Alashe comes in for Allan Cruz, who departed the Montreal game after clashing heads going for a 50-50 ball.
Gutman and Hagglund start for the first time since Sept. 7 against Toronto FC, while Manneh’s last start was at Dallas. He was red carded in that match and was handed a two-game suspension.
About the bench
Caleb Stanko was unavailable last match but enters Wednesday as a potential substitute. His last game was against Toronto on Sept. 7. Roland Lamah, who missed last match with an illness, is also back after missing last week
Victor Ulloa (groin) is also available for the first time since his return to his first professional club, FC Dallas, at the end of last month. Ulloa had also missed time with an injury.
About the absentees
Spencer Richey (back), Jimmy McLaughlin (knee), Cruz (head) and Mattocks (ankle) are unavailable. Mattocks and McLaughlin have season-ending injuries.