3. Greg Garza
Just as we will watch to see if Villalba returns this weekend, we will see if Greg Garza returns as well. Garza has not seen the pitch in MLS action since seeing a straight red back on May 20 against New York Red Bulls. The following day, the club announced Garza would undergo shoulder injury. He has finally recovered and even made an appearance in Sunday’s gameday squad against Chicago.
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
Garza most likely won’t make an appearance. Chris McCann usually starts in his place at left back, and McCann just put in a strong performance against Chicago over the weekend. Plus, homegrown George Bello has made two starts over the last few weeks in place of McCann due to suspension or rest. With both Bello and McCann making strong starts, Garza’s chances of playing are slim.
That said, Martino may want to use Garza as somewhat of a surprise against Toronto since he didn’t play in the match back in August. I think the most likely scenario is if the game is out of reach with about twenty minutes left, Martino will put Garza in to get a bit of playing time. Martino and his staff are known for not rushing players back (see: Almiron, Miguel), so Garza will likely be handled the same way.
Hopefully, Garza will see a little bit of time this weekend. If that’s the case, there will be an interesting added wrinkle along the back line. McCann has done well overall this season in place of Garza and other injured players. His recent play is shaky, but the Chicago game might be a turning point. Bello has also played very well but is still very young and inexperienced for what Atlanta is trying to accomplish this weekend. Either way, it seems now that Martino has three left backs to toy with and confuse opponents.