Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Atlanta United FC still is looking for consistent goal-scoring threats as they head to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Sunday to face host Inter Miami CF.

Aside from a three-goal outburst, including an own goal, in their lone victory of MLS play at home against Chicago on April 24th, Atlanta (1-1-1, 4 points) has scored one other goal in two league matches on the road so far.

The Five Stripes were recently eliminated in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League by the Philadelphia Union after scoring one combined goal in two matches of that competition.

Atlanta United has been battling through injuries to key players such as midfielder Ezequiel Barco and winger Jurgen Damm, adding to the offensive woes. But neither is expected to be available when Atlanta takes on Inter Miami (1-1-1, 4 points).

Barco and Damm are each dealing with muscle issues according to coach Gabriel Heinze. Josef Martinez, who is back after a long-term recovery from a torn ACL, is slowly getting himself back into top shape, and 22-year-old Santiago Sosa, who scored in Atlanta's 1-1 tie Tuesday with Philadelphia, is another potential catalyst.

"Santi is adapting well day by day," Heinze said after the game. "I think it's good news for Atlanta."

Having Gonzalo and Federico Higuain back should energize an Inter Miami squad that has looked more cohesive so far in their second season overall and first under coach Phil Neville, who has replaced Diego Alonso. The Argentine brothers missed Miami's 0-0 draw last week at Nashville SC due to the death of their mother.

"(Atlanta) had a real tough schedule with the Champions League fixtures they've had. They've been on the road quite a bit, so I think that's why you've seen the results they're getting," Neville said, according to the Miami Herald. "But every time I watch them play, I think they've got really good players, exciting players, players that can cause you damage. It's going to be a real difficult game for us."

Miami will likely be without defender Nico Figal (hamstring injury), left winger Robbie Robinson (hamstring injury) and reserve forward Julian Carranza (vertigo).

--Field Level Media

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