Atlanta United's Jeff Larentowicz (18) and Orlando City's Carlos Rivas (11) vie for possession of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Photo: John Raoux/AP
Photo: John Raoux/AP

Atlanta United Q&A: Jeff Larentowicz

Thoughtful as always, Atlanta United midfielder Jeff Larentowicz on Tuesday spent a few minutes talking about the team’s ability to grind out points, the coming two-game road trip, and similarities he sees between his team and the Colorado team he was on that won the MLS Cup.

Atlanta United (10-7-5) is off until it plays at D.C. United on Aug. 23. It will then play at Philadelphia on Aug. 26.

Q: Your thoughts on coming away with a point at Sporting KC?

A: It feels like we stole something there. thing about MLS, and probably every season, is things tend to even out. You think back to games that maybe we should have won, or we get a draw or something, or maybe we should have drawn and we lost. 

It tends to even out. That was probably one of those things.

Q: How can this team best use these two weeks before the next game?

A: It’s a balance at this part of the year. We all know that September is going to be really difficult. Finishing out this month with two away games is going to be tough as well. It’s going to be a balance of work and rest.

The last time we had the break we had to shore up some little things in the defense and I thought that we did that and rebounded a bit after the break.

It’s probably going to be a bit similar. I think that we also use the time to get some guys healthy.

Q: How’s your health?

A: I feel good, yea.

Q: Did you think it was a penalty on Sunday at Sporting KC?

A: It’s tough. It was a close one. The referee seemed really sure. In the moment, I guess so. That’s why they are there to make the call.

Q: On offense, it’s been one goal, one goal, one goal the past three games. Is that a concern or is it just a matter of getting Josef Martinez back?

A: You can’t rely on just one guy. Obviously then you get yourself into trouble. For a good part at the beginning of the year it seemed we were spreading goals around. We aren’t doing that as much. We are depending upon whoever is that point man recently. 

Jake (Peterson) coming on and scoring is a good sign. Jake getting healthy is a good sign. Josef getting closer is a good sign.

I think that not only if he steps on the field you think that not only can Josef score but he’s also displacing some of the burden. If teams begin to worry about him then it opens up for other guys.

Q: It’s also a function of teams having more film to study of yall?

A: More teams see of us the more they get to study. Each game that goes by is another game that Atlanta United has played. They get to watch it and understand the tendencies. Beginning of the year we obviously had the surprise factor on our side and now teams are becoming more prepared.

Q: Are there any similarities between this team and its ability to grind out points and Colorado when you were a player there and won the MLS Cup?

A: Any team that does well in the league is going to be the team that grinds points out, the team that has the ability go on the road and get points in any sport to play poorly and win or get a draw.

If we can do that, then that’s great. We have two away games coming up that are going to be really difficult and then we have a string of home games. Fighting for the rest of the month and hopefully coming into September flying is going to be the goal. 

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