Some of what was said after Atlanta United’s 1-1 draw with Seattle on Sunday at Lumen Field:

Atlanta United Head Coach Gabriel Heinze

On today’s match and what he’s trying to instill

“What I’m trying to do with my players is to try and teach them a certain way. There will be some games where we have more chances. There will be games when we don’t have as many chances. And the day that I don’t have the trust in the players I’m coaching, I will move away.”

On what he liked about the team today

“Yes of course, I love to talk about football. What I really like is how we built up from the back. How the transition from the back to the front worked. What we need to improve is the final third so we can create even more chances. I also liked, when the opponent had the ball, how close we were to them. These are things I like to talk about for sure.”

On his thoughts on defensive set pieces and scoring late goals in the attack

“On the defensive set pieces, they brought seven players in the box. We were man marking with each of their players. Also when one of our players lost the challenge, because it was a one-vs-one marking that happened. It’s not a habit to score in the last minute. I believe it’s more about heart and belief. Don’t give up. The game will be over after 93 minutes and every ball is like the last ball. This is a sport unlike other sports when you have to give the maximum that you have every minute.”

On Miles Robinson’s distribution improving

“You talk very well about Miles. The only thing we are doing with him is working with him. We are giving him the tools that we think are best for him. The football player is the one that is doing it here.”

Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze (left) gestures from the bench during the second half against the Seattle Sounders, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Seattle. Heinze received a yellow card for arguing a call during the game. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Credit: Ted S. Warren

icon to expand image

Credit: Ted S. Warren


Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez

On his assessment of the game today

“Thank you for the well wishes. I don’t know if we are a good team or not yet. We have more possession than Seattle. They have a better team than us. We didn’t create a lot of chances, but one points is enough for us.”

On if he had any nerves stepping up to the penalty spot

“Yes, a little bit of nerves. It has been two years since I’ve taken a penalty.”

On if the attack is progressing

“I think it is progressing. It’s hard to say because every game is hard. We don’t create a lot of chances. If we don’t create chances, if we don’t score, then I don’t know what to say. It’s important that we got one point away against an amazing team. We will see what happens in the next game.”

On his confidence level that more scoring chances will come

“Hopefully yes. If we don’t create chances, we don’t have possibility to win a game. You can have the ball all game. You can run more than the other team, but if you don’t create chances, you don’t win. In soccer, you win with goals, not with possession. But we are happy. It’s not easy to get a point away against another amazing team. So, we have to keep working and see what happens.”

On scoring late goals and what it says about the team’s mentality

“It’s tough to say. That’s just how things happened to go today. We had a lot of possession, but didn’t create as many chances. Seattle is a good team. It’s hard to say what it means. It doesn’t matter if you score in the first minute or 93rd minute, goals all count the same.”


Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan signals from the goal during the second half against the Seattle Sounders, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Seattle. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Credit: Ted S. Warren

icon to expand image

Credit: Ted S. Warren

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan

If it’s a satisfying point

“Absolutely. 100 percent. We pushed and we probed. We fully deserved at least a point today. Our work rate was phenomenal. It was never going to be an easy game. Seattle is obviously a very good team. To travel out here, with a few knocks that we have within the group, to show the resilience, to keep fighting and to ultimately earn the penalty — fantastic.”

On Josef Martinez and if he had any doubt in him with the penalty attempt

“No. Never. He’s as clutch as they come when it comes to stepping up to the spot. I’m happy for him. It’s another game for him where he gains confidence. Obviously, scoring goals — that’s what he does. To get a goal like that, it’s certainly going to help him going forward.”

On Miles Robinson’s maturation on the ball

“Of course, he’s grown as a player. His ability on the ball has certainly gotten better. But that being said, we’re constantly asking the question of each other to be better. There are still times when – not just him, all of us – there are times when we’re carless on the ball; we don’t care for it enough. So, for as good as the pass was for the goal, there are certainly other moments within the game where we’ll look back and be critical of ourselves of how we get better. It’s a good ball. I don’t think, at times, we ask the question of the opposition’s backline to turn and face their own goal and defend. And when you do that, you create good things. Brooks [Lennon] makes a great run, gets on the end of it, and the guy catches him. It’s last-minute defending from them. If you speak to their guys, I’m sure they’ll be disappointed with conceding a goal so late in the game. But from our point of view, it was great.”

On what it takes for the team to create more chances

“Yeah, I think it’s a combination. A combination of continuing to play like this and continuing to gain confidence. But ultimately, we need to be ruthless in the final third. We need to play balls that are maybe 60-40, 70-30 balls into spaces where now you’re asking the question of the center back going to defend outside his box, or inside his box, or a full back that has to deal with a cross that’s been whipped in early. We need to be more ruthless. We need to have more of a cutting edge to ourselves in and around the box. It’s not for a lack of effort, that’s certainly for sure. We need to continue to believe in what we’re doing. We know the work that is going on behind closed doors. I’m sure [some media] are going to argue with those statistics but listen you guys don’t know the work that is going on behind closed doors, day-to-day, with what we’re trying to accomplish. And so today is another step in the right direction in a very tough place to come.”

On the team getting a result late for second week in a row

“For sure. We mentioned that before game. This is not an easy place to come as you mentioned. There is a reason why teams come here and it’s a tough place to play. Seattle is a good team and they make it difficult. To then continue to probe, continue to push forward, those are important moments. We believe that regardless if it’s in the first minute or 95th minute, we are going to get a chance or two and we need to be able to take those. On another day, we maybe get one more and get three points. At the very minimum we deserved at least a point and I think it was a fair result.”

On set piece defending

“It’s down to responsibility. Brooks came up to me and put his hand up. At same time, I expect him to defend that nine times out of 10 and challenge that cross. But then he went on and got us a penalty. It is what it is. That’s part of professional sports. Mistakes happen, but it’s how you respond to those mistakes. He was fantastic for us. I told him that I’m not thinking about the mistake, I’m thinking about his ability to get forward and get us a result in a tough place to play. It’s about all of us sticking together, creating an understanding of what we want to do. Mistakes are going to happen. It’s part of the game.”

On the defensive partnership of Miles Robinson and Anton Walkes

“I agree with you that they have a great partnership. One, it’s down to them making plays individually, we know they can do that. But it’s also having an understanding of what we are doing in the system. Again, there were moments today where we got a little lucky. Anton made a great play to make a last ditch tackle, but if we see it out how we should see it out, there shouldn’t be a last ditch tackle. So those are little things that we can be sharper in. But yeah, those two have been phenomenal. We continue to use this as a positive performance to move forward with.”


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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 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 20 vs. Philadelphia, 2 p.m., ESPN

June 23 at NYCFC (at Red Bull Arena), TBD, BSSO/BSSE

June 27 vs. New York Red Bulls, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at Chicago, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 8 at Nashville, 8:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. New England, 5 p.m., ESPN

July 21 at Cincinnati, 7 p.m., FS1

July 24 vs. Columbus, 3:30 p.m., ABC

July 30 at Orlando, 8 p.m., ESPN

Aug. 4 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 7 at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 15 vs. LAFC, 4 p.m. ESPN

Aug. 18 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

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, 7:30 p.m., FS1

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