Comparing Heinze with what followed at Atlanta United

September 10, 2021 Atlanta - Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda instructs during the second half in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Friday, September 10, 2021. Atlanta United won 3-0 over Orlando City. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
September 10, 2021 Atlanta - Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda instructs during the second half in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Friday, September 10, 2021. Atlanta United won 3-0 over Orlando City. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Watching Atlanta United tear apart Orlando 3-0 last week it was almost as if the Gabriel Heinze era was years ago, instead of months ago.

The team’s attack was fluid. It was aggressive. It was effective.

At the same time, the defense remained solid and left no gaps for Orlando’s attackers to exploit.

It was as complete performance as last year’s win at D.C. United, which was the last time that the team looked like its old self from 2017 or ‘18.

To be fair to Heinze, he didn’t have Luiz Araujo. To be fair to current manager Gonzalo Pineda, he didn’t have Josef Martinez or Miles Robinson, and, still the team played one of its best games offensively and defensively.

I thought it time to compare the Heinze era in MLS with that of Rob Valentino, who followed as interim manager, and Pineda, who was named full-time manager and has led the team in its past two games. It will host Cincinnati on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Tale of 2 Atlanta Uniteds
Atlanta United performance under Gabriel Heinze, compared to Rob Valentino and Gonzalo Pineda. The top is the team's average under Heinze, the lower portion reflects the time under Valentino and Pineda.

As you can see, the team has improved in every category.

Its 1.7 points per game would put it third in the MLS East. Its previous average under Heinze would put it 12th in the East.

Its 1.5 goals per game would put it eighth in MLS and fifth in the East. Its previous average of 1.0 would put it 23rd in MLS and 12th in the East.

Its 1.2 goals allowed per game would put it ninth in MLS and fifth in the East. Its previous average of 1.23 would put it 14th in MLS and sixth in the East.

Its 1.41 expected goals per game would put it in a tie for 12th in MLS and fifth in the East. Its previous average of 0.97 would put it last among the 27 teams in the league.

Its 1.39 expected goals against per game would put it in a tie for 14th in MLS and ninth in the East. It previous average of 1.54 would put it 20th in MLS and 12th in the East.

While the stats have improved, the team still needs to make the playoffs for the season to be considered successful. For now, it is experiencing success.

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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

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 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

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