June 10, 2019 Kennesaw- Emerson Hyndman, 16, midfielder for Atlanta United, dribbles the ball during the first half of a match between Atlanta United and Saint Louis FC at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Atlanta United and Saint Louis were tied 0-0 at the end of the first half. The match was Hyndman's first start for Atlanta United. Christina Matacotta/Christina.Matacotta@ajc.com
Photo: Christina R. Matacotta/Christina Matacotta
Photo: Christina R. Matacotta/Christina Matacotta

Atlanta United’s Hyndman settled and ready to contribute

Emerson Hyndman feels settled for the first time in a long time.

The Atlanta United midfielder doesn’t have to think about being loaned, which had been the case more often than not at his previous team, Bournemouth, which loaned him three times, including to the Five Stripes in the middle of last year’s MLS season.

That loan included an option to buy that Atlanta United exercised after watching Hyndman start 10 league games last season while also helping the club win the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup.

“I definitely wanted to be here,” he said Thursday at the team’s training ground in Marietta. “I had a great feeling about it and just happy to be able to start a season.”

It’s a bit different than when Hyndman was in England with Bournemouth, which sent him on loan to Rangers in 2017 and to Hibernian in 2018 in Scotland before sending him to Atlanta United in July last season.

Hyndman was almost immediately put into the starting lineup by manager Frank de Boer. Hyndman said he wasn’t nervous because confidence has never been an issue. The concerns were about fitness and chemistry with his teammates. Still, Hyndman finished with one goal and three assists in 15 league appearances.

He’s now more comfortable with his teammates, the coaching staff and expectations, and has the time to do things the right way. Hyndman said he spent the offseason working on his physique to better handle the stretches of the season when there are three games a week. 

“I want to get into the team and help the team as much as I can,” he said. “Having a preseason, having time to mesh in the group, gives me a better chance of doing that.”

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