Atlanta United asks supporters to stay positive

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Despite another dispiriting loss, this time 2-1 at Portland, Atlanta United fullback Brooks Lennon asked the team’s supporters to remain positive.

Sunday’s defeat at Providence Park dropped the team’s record to 8-12-9, including 1-9-5 on the road, and five points behind New England for the seventh and final playoff spot in the East with five games remaining.

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The loss wasn’t surprising. The way the team played, almost emotionless, was eye-opening. It put only two shots on goal against a defense that had been struggling.

“Just don’t give up on us,” Lennon said. “We aren’t going to give up on ourselves. We still believe in ourselves to get wins at home, and that’s the most important part now is to prove to our fans that we are dedicated and believe in ourselves. Like I said earlier, we are going to give 110%. We are going to get back to the training ground and work as hard as possible this week. We will do everything we can do to finish out the year strong and continue to fight until the end and never give up.”

The team has taken only five points from its past five games. It has scored only 10 goals in those six games and given up 14 goals, including two penalty kicks to Portland.

“Well, probably right now after the game, the confidence level is not great for sure,” manager Gonzalo Pineda said Sunday. “It’s a moment where we need to try to analyze and reflect on what we can do better and come back with a better response next time. This is football. This is part of the game. We wish we could be in a different position and try to increase those energy levels or confidence levels, but we are not. Now, what happened tonight, we can’t do anything about it anymore. It’s in the past. We have to try to move on and continue with the next game.”

The next game will come against Toronto, one of the teams it is competing against for the final playoff spot.

Goalkeeper Raul Gudino, who made his first MLS start Sunday, said the team believes it will qualify for the playoffs.

“We have five finals left, five battles, and we have to fight them like that, try to take the maximum number of points possible and try to be higher in the table,” he said. “And then once in the playoffs, it’s a different competition.”

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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

August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

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

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE