ATLANTA, GEORGIA—Despite an injury-filled Major League Soccer season that made them lose veteran goalkeeper Brad Guzan and star defender Miles Robinson, Atlanta United remains confident they can still enter the MLS Eastern Conference playoffs this year.
To reach the playoffs, Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda believes they have to fix the issues that have plagued them all season, including in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to New York Red Bulls. “We couldn’t even connect certain passes, and we started not to be as proactive as we started the game,” Pineda said. “And then, we concede the second one in a set piece, and then it’s almost like a lot of, I don’t know, not a lot of motivation there to connect the passes and go forward. We lost a little bit the control of the game,” Pineda added.
According to reports, Atlanta United only has nine remaining games in the MLS regular season. Defender Andrew Gutman said the players and the coaching staff are all united to push for another playoff appearance this year. “I think everyone in this group believes that we can make the playoffs and win games, and I know this is three points lost at home, but we can easily make it up on Sunday and be in a better position,” Gutman said.
Meanwhile, fullback Brooks Lennon said the team would treat every game as very important to reach their goal of another MLS playoff slot. “I think that a lot of teams that we play are in those playoff spots,” Lennon said. “From here on out, every match is a final for us. We can’t drop points from here on out,” Lennon added.