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Atlanta United’s Tito Villalba available for selection against LA Galaxy

Villalba has recovered from his knee injury and will be in the game-day 18.

May 8, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Hector Villalba (15) pushes the ball up the field against Toronto FC midfielder Richie Laryea (22) in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
May 8, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Hector Villalba (15) pushes the ball up the field against Toronto FC midfielder Richie Laryea (22) in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

MARIETTA, Ga. — Atlanta United winger Héctor “Tito” Villalba has recovered from his knee injury and will be in the game-day 18 this Saturday against the LA Galaxy.

Manager Frank de Boer did not say whether Villalba is in contention to start or how many minutes he might play.

Villalba has not appeared since sustaining the injury May 19 in a 1-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls. The layoff cost Villalba a spot on the Paraguay men’s national team roster for the Copa America in Brazil last month.

The 25-year-old, who returned to full training this week, has appeared in 11 Major League Soccer games for Atlanta this season, starting nine. Villalba has one goal and three assists in 726 minutes.

Midfielder Kevin Kratz also resumed full training this week after a long absence due to a calf injury. Kratz has played a single minute this year and is further from full match fitness. He will not play Saturday.

Fullback Mikey Ambrose and forward Brandon Vazquez did not train this week. Vazquez sustained an adductor injury during a training session last Wednesday but did travel with the team for its 4-3 loss at Los Angeles Football Club last Friday. Neither are available Saturday.

The Five Stripes and Galaxy will kick off from Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday around 5 p.m. LA will miss three suspended players: midfielder Efrain Alvarez, defender Diego Polenta and, most notably, forward Zlatan Ibrahimović.

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