Atlanta United’s anti-resolutions for the new year

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez #7 shoots during the match against Cincinnati FC at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday November 7, 2021. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez #7 shoots during the match against Cincinnati FC at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday November 7, 2021. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

It’s a new year.

It’s time for resolutions.

Most resolutions are focused on things that people are going to do: go to the gym three times a week. Eat healthier. Read more. Spend more time with kids.

Here are my anti-resolutions for Atlanta United.

These are things the MLS club will not do during 2022.

Atlanta United will not fire a manager. You would think this wouldn’t have to be written but after firing Frank de Boer in 2020 and Gabriel Heinze in 2021, no possible action should be dismissed.

The team played well under Pineda after he took over in mid-summer. It took 24 points from 13 games. Project that over a full season and the team would earn 62 points from 34 games and that was with the benefit of not a lot of training or time to truly install and train what Pineda wanted. It wouldn’t have been enough to win the Supporter’s Shield, taken by New England with 73 points, but it would have been enough to finish in second place.

Atlanta United will not leave qualifying for the playoffs in doubt. Let’s only quicky dredge up 2020 to note that the team failed to qualify for the playoffs despite having numerous chances to do so.

In 2021, team had numerous chances to secure homefield advantage in playoffs and failed to do so. It was forced to go to Yankee Stadium where it was thoroughly defeated by eventual champs NYCFC.

This season, if it wins points at the same clip as it did last season, not only will it not have to worry about qualifying for the postseason it will secure homefield advantage.

It’s important because the team is 47-14-17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It is 26-36-19 away from the Benz.

Atlanta United will not wonder who can consistently score other than Josef Martinez. This has always been an issue for the squad after the 2017 season. It wasn’t much of one in 2018 because Martinez won the Golden Boot with 31 goals. He followed that in 2019 with 27 goals.

He missed almost all of 2020 because of a knee injury. The team’s offense cratered with just 23 goals from 23 games.

Last season, he scored 12 goals in 24 appearances. The team scored 45 goals in 34 games. It scored the second-fewest goals among the teams that qualified for the playoffs in the East.

Martinez should be healthier physically and mentally this season after having a year to get used to his rebuilt knee and an offseason to strengthen it.

Plus, he should have a more comfortable Luiz Araujo on the right wing. Araujo will be a difference-maker for Atlanta United. His skill is evident. His speed is outstanding. His work rate on defense is there. He just needs to a level of comfort that only comes with time. He needs a bit more confidence that comes from positive results. Those things will happen this season.

Atlanta United will not drop as many points late as it did in 2020. Teams that win 60-plus points typically don’t drop a lot of points.

Atlanta United dropped 13 points last season when leading games at the 75th minute, including watching four wins turn into draws at home.

The team either won 12 points or failed to win 27 when tied at the 75th minute. It went 4-0-5 in those games last season.

And when trailing at the 75th minute, it went 0-8-2. Not good.

The team is taking steps toward turning around the trend. It started by signing veteran central midfielder Ozzie Alonso, a man who knows how to win games.

His experience, plus what the players learned last year, should benefit.

Expect at least one more signing to add some experience and steel to the roster.


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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m., FS1

March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

March 13 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FS1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 9 at Charlotte, 3 p.m., ESPN

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs Miami, 4 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas


Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0

July 21 Atlanta United 1, Cincinnati 1

July 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Orlando 3, Atlanta United 2

Aug. 4 Atlanta United 2, Montreal 2

Aug. 7 Atlanta United 3, Columbus 2

Aug. 15 Atlanta United 1, LAFC 0

Aug. 18 Atlanta United 1, Toronto 0

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, D.C. United 1

Aug. 28 Nashville 2, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 3, Orlando 0

Sept. 15 Atlanta United 4, Cincinnati 0

Sept. 18 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

Sept. 25 Philadelphia 1, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 29 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 0

Oct. 2 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 16 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 0

Oct. 20 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

Oct. 27 Atlanta United 2, Miami 1

Oct. 30 Atlanta United 1, Toronto1

Nov. 3 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

Nov. 7 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 1