3. Hector Villalba is back
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Before Wednesday night I highlighted a few players to watch going into the match. One of those players is Hector Villalba, who returned from injury in the 76th minute of Wednesday’s match. It didn’t take long for him to affect the match, as he scored the game clinching goal in the 82nd minute. It is Villalba’s third goal at MAPFRE Stadium, which is obviously a place he’s comfortable playing.
Eventually Villalba will be back in the Starting XI, there’s no doubt about that. In the mean time, the chances of Villalba starting Atlanta’s Open Cup match is 50/50 right now. Because of the Open Cup’s rules, there are only five international players in each game. This means Villalba might be out of the game day eighteen and will rest while other internationals play. Or, because only five players are available, Villalba will play and this match will serve as a bridge for his return to full fitness.
Regardless of when Villalba plays again, it is great to see him on the scoresheet after missing significant time.