4. Ezequiel Barco
Ezequiel Barco made his way back into the Starting XI against Orlando City last week. That start meant Barco’s team suspension is essentially over. Barco missed four consecutive starts due to what the coaching staff called an ‘act of indiscipline.’ He performed well against Orlando, despite a few chemistry issues on the pitch during some passing sequences. He also missed the last match against D.C., the first game of his suspension.
Barco will continue to be monitored by both fans and media as he gets more playing time. Team chemistry is a very important aspect of soccer, and a very important aspect for a team like Atlanta United, who is pursuing their first piece of silverware in club history. The team is on pace to win the Supporters’ Shield and break the record for points in a season, but they can’t achieve those accomplishments if all of the players aren’t on the same page.
Barco is also the most expensive player in MLS history, meaning there is an expectation that he will produce for the team. So far, his numbers have been average, with just four goals and one assist in 1340 minutes. His four goals and one assist in 1340 minutes can be directly compared to Hector Villalba’s four goals and eight assists in 1270 minutes.
As the team plays through this final stretch and the playoffs come nearer, Barco will need to step up his game. Atlanta’s players are too talented for Barco to not contribute.