1. Dealing with depth already
Besides the obvious depth issue in having just one striker on the roster, there are a few other areas in the roster feeling a bit thin. Take the backline, for instance.
Franco Escobar picked up a quad injury and was withdrawn at half-time. Because of other injuries, Laurence Wyke took Escobar’s place. Wyke is not a well-known player, even for Atlanta fans. He spent the 2019 season with Atlanta United 2 and will feature for the USL side again this season. Because of numerous injuries and visa issues, Wyke signed a four-day emergency contract to suit up for Saturday night’s match. In most situations, the emergency signee won’t see any minutes. Escobar’s untimely injury forced de Boer’s hand and the 23-year-old played just well enough to help Atlanta secure three points.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how de Boer handles the injuries, especially in defense. With Miles Robinson, George Bello, and Edgar Castillo on the sidelines, Atlanta have just four fully fit defenders, and that includes Brooks Lennon (primarily a wing-back) and George Campbell (just 18 and not completely ready to feature full-time).
As far as depth for the midfield and attack go, Atlanta are fine. The loss of Josef Martinez is enormous and season-altering, but outside of that, all other players are healthy. The team is still waiting on visa issues with Matheus Rosetto and Manuel Castro but both players should be with the team in the coming weeks.
Frank de Boer and his staff will need to make important decisions regarding the striker position and depth along the backline as Atlanta enters a congested stretch of games over the next four weeks.