Luiz Araujo scored the winning goal, which moved the Five Stripes from eighth to fifth in the East.
Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda said after the game and again Tuesday that he didn’t think the behavior of the players rose to the level of a red card.
Pineda said Tuesday that if Barco, who has scored seven goals and has seven assists, couldn’t play there are good options to replace him, including the return of Josef Martinez, who leads the team with 10 goals. Pineda also could use Jake Mulraney, Erik Lopez, Jurgen Damm or Machop Chol in a one-for-one replacement.
“Obviously, it’s not ideal not having X or Y player, but we always try to replace it with the whole team playing in a certain style,” Pineda said. “So everybody’s important, but you know, the team is more important all the time. ... If we have to bring someone else, next man up, we will try to deal with that.”
Wednesday’s game is important for both teams because points are at a premium as the season winds down.
Atlanta United is in fifth in the Eastern Conference with 42 points with five games remaining. NYCFC is in eighth with 40 points. The Five Stripes trail fourth-place Orlando by three points and third-place Philadelphia by four. It leads 10th-place Columbus by five points.
“The importance of these games are going to make us play at the best of our abilities,” Pineda said. “And hopefully we can get the results to get in the playoffs and that mentality is going to stay there and we will have a good momentum to go into playoffs, so that’s a positive for sure. And we’re just waiting to get these three points and see what is next.”
While Atlanta United is finishing well with 21 points from its past 10 games, NYCFC has just nine points from its past 10 games.
“I think they are a team that plays very good football. We appreciate the football they bring to the field, and we know is going to be a very, very good match,” Pineda said. “We’re going to enjoy playing against them. And I hope we can get a better result. That’s all but the mentality of the team is there. They know what is in place. And they know what type of game would we have to play to get the three points.”
For more content about Atlanta United
Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC
On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now
On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson
Atlanta United coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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 Atlanta United 2, D.C. United 1
Aug. 28 Nashville 2, Atlanta United 0
Sept. 10 Atlanta United 3, Orlando 0
Sept. 15 Atlanta United 4, Cincinnati 0
Sept. 18 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2
Sept. 25 Philadelphia 1, Atlanta United 0
Sept. 29 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 0
Oct. 2 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1
Oct. 16 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 0
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, FS1
Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE