Atlanta United held its season-ending media session last week at the training ground in Marietta.
Over the next few days, I’ll post a few stories from interviews with Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra and players Michael Parkhurst, Brad Guzan, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, Josef Martinez, Hector Villalba, Julian Gressel and Miguel Almiron.
Here are excerpts from Brad Guzan:
Q. What are your thoughts about the season?
A. It was disappointing the way things ended for us. We want to take that, as well as the other positives from the season, to make sure that come preseason, starting next season, we take the positives from last year and build on that. We take the bad and learn from it, get better from it and continue to grow.
Q. Did you watch the U.S.-Portgual game? Who impressed you the most?
A. I did. A few guys. (Weston) McKennie played very well. He took his goal very well. But, those are the games where guys that kind of have to come out of their comfort level and comfort zone. At the end of the day it’s a good result.
Q. Have you gone back through those five penalty kicks in your mind?
A. No. Penalties are penalties. Hopefully you save a few and give these guys on your side the chance to go and win the game for us.
Another day, it would have been nice to save one or two others and that we would have converted ours and possibly had a different outcome.
But that’s what penalties are all about. It’s not a fun way to lose. A playoff situation, it is what it is.
Q. What do you expect or want your future to be with the U.S. men’s national team?
A. There’s a long time between now and the next important game in terms of playing a meaningful game.
U.S. soccer just announced the League of Nations and whatnot. That will be, I believe, next fall. There’s some time.
For me, I want to continue to push forward. If I can help the national team and the new manager feels that I can be an asset then for sure I want to be a part of it. In goalkeeping terms, I’m still young. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of it for a while now and have some pretty important games under my belt.
Going forward, it’s up to the manager.