Emerson Hydman set for first Atlanta United start in US Open Cup clash

MARIETTA, Ga. – Frank de Boer is wasting no time with his latest acquisition, as Emerson Hyndman will start for Atlanta United on Wednesday against Saint Louis FC in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal (7:30 pm ET | ESPN+). It’s the first game the former US youth international is eligible for.

Hyndman, who joined last week on loan from AFC Bournemouth, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s exciting, personally, for me,” Hyndman told reporters Tuesday. “I’m ready for something like this. It’s a good time to come in and get used to the guys, and obviously it’s an important game as well.”

Hyndman said it helps that there are familiar faces around Atlanta’s training ground. Brek Shea starred at FC Dallas in playing under Hyndman’s grandfather, Schellas Hyndman, while the younger Emerson was in the club’s academy. At Dallas, he played alongside Five Stripes’ left back Mikey Ambrose, who could also see game action on Wednesday.

“I’ve known Emerson a long time,” Ambrose said. “He’s a very technical player. Very good player – gifted, talented, creative player. Very hard worker and a good team guy, so I’m very excited to get him involved with the team and see what he can do.”

Hyndman comes to Atlanta as a box-to-box midfielder who can both circulate possession and combine in the attacking third to create scoring opportunities.

Beyond what Hyndman brings Atlanta on the field, De Boer will surely be pleased with the professionalism the 23-year-old brings off of it. Hyndman has spent time over the last month — around the time serious discussions began with Atlanta — scouting his future teammates by watching replays of Atlanta’s games. Hyndman finally got to see the team play in person, attending matches against the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Emerson Hyndman in training with #ATLUTD this morning. We will be talking to him later for his first media availability. pic.twitter.com/N8ZHVf6v3s

— Joe Patrick (@japatrick200) July 9, 2019

“It was unbelievable,” Hyndman said of the atmosphere. “It was loud and everyone was behind them. I think it’s an intimidating place to go for other teams, and that’s always a huge factor when we play at home. It’s an incredible stadium, and I can’t wait to play in it.”

The Open Cup game will be played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, so Hyndman will have to wait before getting a taste of his new home digs. But the former US Under-20 captain said he’s excited to start playing, regardless of where it is.

“Even just in recent trainings, you get to know the guys,” Hyndman said. “The way they play is very technical and they like to move off each other. I’ve always liked that style of play, combining with people in and around the box, so I think it’ll be a good fit.

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