Who should be Atlanta United’s next captain?

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

With Brad Guzan’s season-ending injury, Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda must choose a new captain.

He said Monday that he is still considering who will wear the armband during games.

The responsibility may seem mostly symbolic, but it does carry responsibility. The captain is the emotional and physical leader. He tries to set the standard, tries to inspire, tries to hold others accountable. Captains are the ones who will face the media when things aren’t going well.

Guzan was very good.

“Brad has a very specific type of leadership, very positive,” Pineda said. “So we have, we have a few different types of leaders within the team. And we try to use them all as much as possible. And I think they’re going to figure it out. And that part doesn’t doesn’t worry me that much.”

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