So, who should take the responsibility?
Bobby Shuttleworth, who will start in goal in place of Guzan, is a candidate. He’s a vet. He’s constantly talking to his teammates during games, trying to help them. But I think the next captain needs to be a field player, someone who can more easily get to a teammate during a game to talk to him about a tactical adjustment, or say something to try to lift his spirits.
Miles Robinson is one of the team’s better players, but anyone who has interviewed him knows he’s not much on talking. A captain doesn’t have to be a talker, but it seems like it would be necessary.
Josef Martinez is out for another six weeks or so. He could become the captain when he returns.
Ozzie Alonso would have been a great captain, but he’s out for the season because of an ACL injury.
Many of the other players haven’t been with the team long. It would seem odd to ask them to become the leader.
As you can see, I’m narrowing the field of possibilities.
There are two leading candidates, I think: Brooks Lennon and Marcelino Moreno.
Both are consistent starters. Both are consistent producers.
I think, comparing the two, that Lennon would embrace the role. That’s not a criticism of Moreno. He’s a pro but, like Robinson, is reserved.
This team needs someone who, like Guzan, is going to be vocal. Someone who is going to try to light a fire under teammates. It’s something the team has been missing for a while. Guzan can only do so much from goal.
Lennon can be that player.
Lennon is that player.
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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 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, 1:30 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
Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1
Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
Aug. 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
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE