Reviewing Atlanta United’s season: Attacking players

With Atlanta United’s season over, the reshaping of the roster will begin soon under Vice President Carlos Bocanegra.

It wasn’t the season many anticipated. The team missed the MLS playoffs for only the second time in six seasons, and injuries decimated the lineup.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is continuing to take a position-by-position look at the roster over the coming days.

Reviewed so far:




Central midfielders

This installment looks at the attacking players, a group consisting of strikers, attacking midfielders and wingers. It was a disappointing season for the offense, which couldn’t produce consistently enough.

The stats flatter: As a team, Atlanta United’s 48 goals ranked them in 11th in MLS. Its 37 assists were tied for eighth-most. Its 1.57 expected goals per game were sixth-best. Its 543 shots lead the league. Its 181 shots on target were second-most. Its 418 key passes were also the most.

So, what went wrong? Its quality chances, or big chances, saw them rank among the middle of the league. So, it was getting off a lot of shots but not a lot of good ones.

(Stats provided by

Josef Martinez

He made 26 appearances, including 12 starts. He underwent a procedure in April to clean out his right knee. He lost his starting place in the season’s final third, and he was suspended for a game because of conduct detrimental to the team. Manager Gonzalo Pineda said there were numerous instances of Martinez’s misconduct. It seems likely that his time with Atlanta United may be winding down. He is under contract in 2023.

Goals: Nine

Expected goals: 7.1

Shots: 48

Shots on target: 20

Assists: Four

Expected assists: 2.5

Key passes: 25

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.52

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.37

Successful dribble percentage: 25

Times dispossessed: 11


Ronaldo Cisneros

He made 28 appearances, including 23 starts. He was acquired on loan from Chivas in LIGA MX. He became Pineda’s preferred striker because of his willingness to run behind the opponent’s last line and his ability to press. His goals typically came in bunches: three against Chicago and two against Real Salt Lake.

Goals: Seven

Expected goals: 7.1

Shots: 48

Shots on target: 18

Assists: One

Expected assists: 1.5

Key passes: 18

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.14

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.1

Successful dribble percentage: 42.9

Times dispossessed: 16


Dom Dwyer

He made 22 appearances, including five starts. He is under contract next season.

Goals: Four

Expected goals: 4.1

Shots: 22

Shots on target: Six

Assists: Zero

Expected assists: 1.1

Key passes: Five

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.04

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.29

Successful dribble percentage: 100

Times dispossessed: Nine


Thiago Almada

He made 29 appearances, including 25 starts, in his first season in MLS. He played well enough to be called into Argentina’s senior team for an appearance in a friendly. He showed immense talent. Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said he is confident that Almada will one day be playing for a Champions League team in Europe.

Goals: Six

Expected goals: 6.5

Shots: 77

Shots on target: 23

Assists: 12, seven were primary assists

Expected assists: 7.2

Key passes: 76

Shot-creating actions per 90: 5.81

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.57

Successful dribble percentage: 64.1

Times dispossessed: 47


Luis Araujo

He made 28 appearances, including 26 starts. He seemed like a possible MVP candidate before the season. But his performances were disappointing. He took too many low-percentage shots from distance, and his touch would often let him down at the wrong time. The talent is obvious.

Goals: Four

Expected goals: 8.5

Shots: 98, with an average distance of 20.6 yards.

Shots on target: 32

Assists: Six, five were primary assists

Expected assists: 4.6

Key passes: 44

Shot-creating actions per 90: 4.15

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.33

Successful dribble percentage: 60.9

Times dispossessed: 54


Marcelino Moreno

He made 30 appearances, including 18 starts. He fell out of favor with Pineda in the season’s final third. He showed an ability to beat one defender with the dribble. But that defender would then catch up and take the ball from him, resulting in his abnormally high numbers of dispossessions. Pineda preferred to play Moreno on the left, but because Moreno was very right-footed, it would result in him drifting inside and taking space away from teammates. He is under contract for next season.

Goals: Two

Expected goals: 3.6

Shots: 55

Shots on target: 16

Assists: Eight, five were primary assists

Expected assists: 4.5

Key passes: 44

Shot-creating actions per 90: 5.04

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.51

Successful dribble percentage: 55.8

Times dispossessed: 67


Machop Chol

The Homegrown signee made six appearances, often as a late-game sub.

Goals: 0

Expected goals: 0.1

Shots: 2

Shots on target: 0

Assists: Zero

Expected assists: Zero

Key passes: Zero

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.25

Goal-creating actions per 90: Zero

Successful dribble percentage: Zero

Times dispossessed: Three


Edwin Mosquera

Signed in the summer window, he made 12 appearances, including one start. He proved very quick and a threat behind defenses, but couldn’t turn that speed into consistent production.

Goals: Zero

Expected goals: 0.6

Shots: Nine

Shots on target: Four

Assists: Two

Expected assists: 0.7

Key passes: Seven

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.6

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.87

Successful dribble percentage: 40.9

Times dispossessed: Nine


Tyler Wolff

The Homegrown signee made five appearances, including four starts. He then went to the bench before eventually he was loaned to a second-division club in Belgium.

Goals: Zero

Expected goals: 0.3

Shots: Four

Shots on target: Two

Assists: One

Expected assists: 0.2

Key passes: Three

Shot-creating actions per 90: 2.49

Goal-creating actions per 90: 0.36

Successful dribble percentage: 44.4

Times dispossessed: Six


Jackson Conway

The Homegrown signee made three appearances.

Goals: Zero

Expected goals: 0.6

Shots: Three

Shots on target: Zero

Assists: Zero

Expected assists: Zero

Key passes: One

Shot-creating actions per 90: Five

Goal-creating actions per 90: Zero

Successful dribble percentage: No attempts

Times dispossessed: Two

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 0

Sept 17 Atlanta United 0 Philadelphia 0

Oct. 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 9 NYCFC 2, Atlanta United 1