Atlanta United’s brief break ends Tuesday night when it travels to face Charleston Battery in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at MUSC Health Stadium.
Atlanta has faced the Battery in the fourth round of each of the past two U.S. Open Cups, with both matches played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University. Atlanta defeated Charleston 3-0 in 2017 and 3-2 in 2018 to advance to the fifth round.
The United lineup is expected to feature a large group of normal starters, but will be revamped from what it has been this season, both by plan and by necessity with injuries and international call-ups.
“You have to look carefully at your players that have played the most minutes,” United head coach Frank de Boer said. “So, I will leave for example Leandro (Gonzalez Pirez), who has played almost every MLS minute, at home. I will leave Brad Guzan and Julian Gressel at home as well. The rest of the group will travel to Charleston and we will take this competition very seriously. We had a couple of days off.
“Everybody has to be fit to play this game. We have played a lot of games recently, but to stay in that rhythm is very good. I’m not going to change that much. I take this competition very seriously. Normally it’s the fastest way to get to a trophy.”
Atlanta defeated Chicago Fire 2-0 in MLS action on June 1 to earn its fifth consecutive home win, all clean sheets. Josef Martinez scored his ninth and 10th goals for his 15th multi-goal game in MLS and was named MLS Player of the Week. Atlanta also kept its MLS best eighth clean sheet of the season and has allowed 11 goals this season, the fewest in the league.
Charleston currently sits eighth in the USL Eastern Conference standings out of 18 teams with a 5-3-5 record and are unbeaten at home in 2019, posting a 4-0-4 record. Charleston defeated Nashville SC on penalties (3-0) in the previous round on May 29 to advance after the match was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.
Tuesday's match begins at 7:30 p.m. and broadcast is set for ESPN Plus.