Andrew Gutman’s goal could spark Atlanta United’s season

It won’t be known for 11 more games, but there’s a chance that Andrew Gutman’s left foot saved Atlanta United’s season.

Gutman’s thunderbolt of a shot in the 94th minute lifted Atlanta United to a 2-1 victory against Seattle on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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For a moment, all the injuries could be forgotten. The bad luck and poor play at various times were gone in the euphoria of seeing a “golazo.” The victory snapped a four-game winless skid during which the team had scored one goal and gives the team more hope heading into next week’s match at Cincinnati, one of the teams it is fighting for one of the seven playoff spots.

“I think it is just a confidence booster,” Gutman said. “Yeah, I scored the goal, but these guys played their hearts out for 90 minutes. I came in for 10 minutes and helped the team, and we have been playing great football, but we have to start capitalizing on goals and chances, and I think we will be OK.”

Manager Gonzalo Pineda said he told the players in the locker room before the game that all he cared about was the three points. It didn’t matter how or when the winning goal was scored.

Such was the mood of the team, which had two wins in its previous 12 but was still somehow four points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.

“It was just a perfect ending for a game that probably we could have played better,” Pineda said “But due to the circumstances and all that, I think we saw a very good victory for the team.”

Gutman said as soon as he hit it he knew it was going in.

His teammates weren’t as confident.

Ronaldo Cisneros, who scored the team’s first goal in the 23rd minute, smiled and paused for a few seconds when asked if he thought Gutman’s shot had a chance. Finally, he said, “Si.”

Alan Franco, who helped the defense limit Seattle to four shots on goal, said he told Gutman that he was sure he closed his eyes before he struck the ball.

“I wasn’t expecting him to score a golazo, but it’s good for us, and he scored the goal to give us the victory, and he deserved it,” Franco said.

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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 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

Aug. 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

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, 5:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

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