Won MLS Cup and demolished everyone they played in the playoffs, with Tata Martino throwing everyone a curveball by playing more defensive. Neither New York team could handle it, with poor Portland being hopelessly outmatched.
While they did well to resign MLS MVP Josef Martinez to a new deal, they lost Martino and probably their best player in Almiron to a massive transfer to Newcastle.
Tactics & Key Players
Based on preseason, it seems that Frank de Boer is going to bring the 3-4-3 to the Peach State, with pressing and possessing the emphasis in preseason, although when in defense they would drop back to 4 or 5 man back lines.
Obviously Josef Martinez is a huge player for fantasy managers, and of particular interest will be whether he and new signing, Pity Martinez, can create the same kind of chemistry that demolished MLS defenses in 2018. So far it seems that South American player of the year can do that, meaning fantasy managers will need to figure out how to squeeze these high priced players into their lineups.
Defense may be an issue, with Darlington Nagbe wanting out and Greg Garza now in Cincy, although few teams will dare press many bodies forward for fear of Atlanta’s counter attack.
Almiron and Martino OUT; Pity Martinez IN.
They also brought in Pogba’s brother, Florentin Pogba, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be a starter, at least at first. Instead, Atlanta fans are looking for more production out of last year’s big signing, Ezequiel Barco, which may result in Hector Villalba seeing the bench now.
Atlanta has CCL, and as we saw last year with TFC and NYR, that means a lot of rotation and tired legs, and with the playoff field expanding to 7 per conference, I expect Atlanta to focus on CCL to the exclusion of the league. This means that fantasy managers are probably well-advised to avoid boarding the Atlanta train until their CCL duties are complete.
Once that happens, you’re going to start the Twin martinezes in every single Atlanta home game.
Potential Starting XI