ATLANTA, GEORGIA—Despite the disappointing early exit in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference playoffs, the future still looks bright for the Atlanta United FC.
Soccer experts said under the leadership of head coach Gonzalo Pineda the MLS 2022 season looks very promising for United FC.
With just a few games under his belt as United FC coach, Pineda was able to turn around the supposed disaster season for the team and brought them to the MLS playoffs this year.
In partnership with assistant coach Rob Valentino, Pineda was able to instill discipline and a winning attitude for the team.
Now that he has more time with his players, Pineda is expected to mold his team to play even better next year.
Pineda is himself excited for the team next year since most of his players are young with full of energy and potential.
The Mexican head coach considers the MLS 2021 season as a learning experience for his team.
“Those lessons for me are going to help us in the future,” Pineda said.
For its opening salvo in the MLS 2022 season, the United FC will host the dangerous Sporting Kansas City on February 27, 2022, at 3 p.m. (ET) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The match will be broadcast nationally and will be the first time Atlanta and Sporting KC face each other in a season opener.
It was also announced that Atlanta will face Colorado Rapids on Saturday, March 5 at 6 p.m. (ET) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the reigning-Western Conference regular-season champions’ home opener. TV information for all matches will be announced at a later date, along with the remainder of the club’s MLS schedule.
The 2022 MLS season will feature 28 clubs, 14 in each conference, with clubs playing each team in its conference twice and eight teams from the other conference once for a total of 34 matches. After today’s announcement, Atlanta has six remaining matches against Western Conference opponents to be announced.
The playoff run of United FC was over after they suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of the home team New York City FC at the Yankee Stadium on Nov. 21 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
The visiting United FC played aggressively in the entire game but their efforts were not enough to stop the fourth-seeded New York to advance to the second round of the MLS Eastern Conference playoffs.
New York City star striker MLS 2021 Golden Boot winner Valentín Castellanos scored the first goal for his team in the second half.
The goal was Castellanos’ seventh in five games.
A corner kick also initiated New York City’s second goal. In the 53rd minute, midfielder Maxi Moralez took a shot that hit the crossbar. Defender Alex Callens headed in the rebound to put NYCFC up 2-0.
With the win, New York is set to face No. 1 seed and Supporters’ Shield champion New England Revolution in the conference semifinals on November 30.