Atlanta United returns to Georgia to host Herediano in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 matchup. Herediano won the first leg game 3-1, so Atlanta United faces an uphill battle, having to beat them by at least two goals tonight and they will not play in their regular home.
The Monster Jam Truck Show Series Extravaganza made Mercedes-Benz Stadium unusable tonight, so Atlanta United will battle Herediano at Kennesaw’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The defending MLS Cup champions played a few matches there but the venue doesn’t hold the same home field advantages as Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16
Thursday, February 28 at 8:00 PM ET
Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Coverage: Fox Sports
These are tonight’s Round of 16 Leg 2 games:
Herediano vs. Atlanta United – Thursday, February 28 at 8:00 PM ET
Toluca vs. Sporting KC – Thursday, February 28 at 10:00 PM ET
Atlanta United Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Herediano
DF Gonzalez Pires
FW G. Martinez
FW J. Martinez
GK Alec Kann
DF Mikey Ambrose
MF Jeff Larentowicz
FW Brandon Vazquez
FW Gordon Wild
Atlanta United vs. Herediano Betting Line & Prediction
*Note: All odds posted by courtesy of OddsShark and first revealed by Bookmaker
- Atlanta United (-295, -1.5 at -111) vs. Herediano (+715, +1.5 at -114)
- Draw: +385
- Over/Under: 3
Herediano won the Costa Rican Torneo de Apertura 2018 Final against Saprissa on December 23 but they have struggled in the Torneo de Clausura 2019, mostly because their three best players are no longer on the team. Star goalkeeper Leonel Moreira joined Pachuca, their best midfielder Allan Cruz recently signed with new MLS team FC Cincinnati and star forward Yendrick Ruiz was just sold to Bolivian team Oriente Petrolero.
Those departures, combined with injuries to key players like up-and-coming midfielder Jimmy Marín and 2014 World Cup standout Yeltsin Tejeda have hurt Herediano tremendously, as seen in last weekend’s 3-2 road loss against San Carlos when they squandered a 2-0 lead.
Atlanta United won last year’s MLS Cup in just their second season in the league and their already stacked roster recently improved with the addition of star midfielder Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez, who won the 2018 Copa Libertadores with River Plate.
The new MLS season starts on Saturday, just after these Round of 16 games against Herediano and having new head coach Frank de Boer, with little time to prepare the team wasn’t easy and it was evident in last week’s game in Costa Rica.
Herediano does have a significant edge when it comes to the rhythm of play, their pace was too fast for Atlanta United and Jimmy Marín and Randall Azofeifa, in particular, were difference-makers.
In addition to not enjoying much of a home field advantage tonight, Atlanta United will be without George Bello, Franco Escobar and Kevin Kratz and asking them to win by two goals might be too much. I see Atlanta United winning this game 1-0 or 2-1 but Herediano will advance to the quarterfinals of this tournament.
Pick: Herediano +1.5