It finished Wednesday’s game with 21 shots, four on goal, and created 19 chances. But the players’ movement, or lack thereof, seemed static.
Lennon said the lack of movement was a result of the front line being too separated from the back line. The team broke out a 3-4-3 formation against Toronto in an attempt to get its best offensive players, which included new signee Luiz Araujo in his debut, onto the field at the same time.
Valentino is at least the third manager to try to use the formation with some of this personnel. It rarely has consistently worked.
“I think we just need to look at it over film because there’s times when we lose the ball, and we’re just too separated as a group,” Lennon said. “There’s too big of a gap. That creates a little bit of havoc at times trying to possess the ball because you don’t have players in and around you at times. We’re going to just fix those things that, I think, the group needs to improve on. Hopefully, we could watch the film and get ready for Saturday.”
The result was rescued by a bit of magic by Barco, whose chipped shot took a deflection before it looped over Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and into the upper corner.
Interim manager Rob Valentino, another change between the games in May and June and now, expressed his displeasure at halftime and again after Wednesday’s game before acknowledging that a win is a win.
“In this league it’s important to win games like that,” Valentino said. “It’s important to win at home. I told them before the game, that you have to win at home. We have a lot of home games left. We have to continue to win at home.
“It’s important to the fans. It’s important to us. You have to make this place as close to what it was before, people being scared to come here. That’s what I told them after the match. A win is a win. I appreciate their efforts.”
Southern Fried Soccer
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Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule
April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0
April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1
May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1
May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1,
May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0
May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1
May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2
June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2
June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0
June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0
July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0
July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2
July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0
July 21 Atlanta United 1, Cincinnati 1
July 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0
July 30 Orlando 3, Atlanta United 2
Aug. 4 Atlanta United 2, Montreal 2
Aug. 7 Atlanta United 3, Columbus 2
Aug. 15 Atlanta United 1, LAFC 0
Aug. 18 Atlanta United 1, Toronto
Aug. 21 at D.C. United, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 28 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., Univision
Sept. 10 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1
Sept. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision
Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision
Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE
Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE