Atlanta United going for fifth good result in five matches Wednesday

Atlanta United forward Jamal Thiaré #29 and Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #10 celebrate a goal during the match against the Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday June 29, 2024. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Atlanta United forward Jamal Thiaré #29 and Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #10 celebrate a goal during the match against the Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday June 29, 2024. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United will attempt to keep the focus that’s helped it stay unbeaten in its past four matches when it plays at New England on Wednesday.

The Five Stripes are 2-0-2 under interim manager Rob Valentino, whose “stay in moment” approach seems to be working.

“I think the main key would be to stay stay focused on us and try to do the same performance, the same teamwork from last couple games like we did on Saturday,” midfielder Tristan Muyumba said.

New England is one of the worst teams in MLS with a goal difference of minus-17, second-most in MLS. However, before losing 5-1 to Columbus last week, the Revolution put together a four-match win streak so they can be dangerous.

Atlanta United’s performances haven’t been scintillating, but points are points and it has moved into ninth place in the East, with a chance to reach seventh with a win and a Nashville loss against Columbus on Wednesday.

Atlanta United needed cleverness from Jamal Thiare to dispatch Toronto 2-1 last week. It needed a moment of individual brilliance from Thiago Almada to defeat D.C. United. Almada will not be the team Wednesday because of his pending transfer.

Those winning moments were available because of Atlanta United’s willingness to do the defensive work to keep games close, which goes back to Valentino’s insistence on being aggressive but keeping things simple.

“Every game is a new opportunity for us to grow and pick up points,” Valentino said.

It hasn’t always worked.

Toronto took advantage of several Atlanta United mistakes to score its only goal. Valentino referenced those errors Monday and the need to be more aware.

And Atlanta United has been fortunate. Toronto and St. Louis had goals taken away after reviews.

But Atlanta United is gaining confidence ... and listening to Valentino’s messaging.

“The most important thing is it’s always the next game, so we did good performances the last couple of weeks, and but for the next game it’s good for confidence, but it doesn’t matter,” Muyumba said.

Thiare injury. Thiare was injured in the match Saturday and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks of action. Thiare, who scored the game-winning goal in the final seconds, suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the match, when he collided with Toronto’s goalkeeper.

Almada deal. The transfer of Thiago Almada in deal worth as much as $30 million isn’t yet complete but Almada was with John Textor, chairman of the group that owns Botafogo, where Almada is supposed to play for the next few months, and Lyon, his eventual destination, in a Q&A hosted by the Brazilian club Wednesday.

During the interview, Textor panned the camera, making sure to say that Almada is still an Atlanta United player, and there he sat. Almada waved and said “hello” and “thank you” to the hosts, who welcomed him.

All-Stars. While no Atlanta United players were selected Tuesday to play in the MLS All-Star match, Homegrown signee Adyn Torres was selected Wednesday to play in the MLS NEXT Al-Star match. The event is scheduled to be played July 23 in Columbus, Ohio. The format will East All-Stars vs. West.

Atlanta United also didn’t have a player selected for the All-Star game in 2022.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

April 27 Atlanta United 1, Chicago 1

May 4 Minnesota 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte Independence 0 in U.S. Open Cup

May 11 D.C. United 3, Atlanta United 2

May 15 Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United 0

May 18 Atlanta United 1, Nashville 1

May 21 Atlanta United 0 (5), Charleston 0 (4) in U.S. Open Cup

May 25 LAFC 1, Atlanta United 0

May 29 Atlanta United 3, Miami 1

June 2 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 2

June 15 Atlanta United 2, Houston 2

June 19 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

June 22 Atlanta United 1, St. Louis 1

June 29 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 1

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 9 vs. Indy Eleven in U.S. Open Cup

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.