2. Darlington Nagbe
Atlanta is dealing with a few injuries right now, but, after last week’s matches, they’re dealing with one less injury. Darlington Nagbe made his return to the starting XI against Colorado last weekend and made another start this past weekend against Real Salt Lake. Nagbe’s presence on the pitch made a huge impact on the team, including the 3-0 win over Colorado and the 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
When Nagbe sat out Wednesday night’s game to rest, the team gave up three goals officially and a fourth that was overturned by a VAR decision. His defensive abilities and contributions to the team are often overlooked, but this past week is the perfect example of his importance to the team.
For both Wednesday against San Jose and Saturday against Salt Lake, the team rolled out in a 4-3-3. The formation looked porous against San Jose, sans Nagbe; it looked strong against Salt Lake with Nagbe.
Nagbe is going to be an extremely important player in this match against New York. His passing abilities are crucial to Atlanta’s attack and midfield distribution, and his skills on the ball are an important asset as well. If Nagbe performs well on Sunday, chances are that Atlanta will walk away with at least a point, if not three.