Pineda said that for the team to win three points against the Galaxy, it must keep doing what it did to earn four points from its past two games against Real Salt Lake and Orlando. That includes creating numerous scoring chances while maintaining formational discipline on defense.
In its past four games, the team is tied for the league lead in shots (72), is first in shots on goal (27), seventh in expected goals (7.53) but tied for 12th in goals scored (6). On defense, the team ranks 27th among the 28 MLS teams in goals allowed (9). But in its past two games it has allowed just two goals. That has coincided to a switch from playing with only two centerbacks to playing with three.
“I think we’ve been pretty solid the past few games, but I think we need to keep that up and show really the next game that on the road that we can be a team that’s tough to beat, and we can be the better team on the ball,” centerback George Campbell said Thursday.
A key for Atlanta United to stopping the Galaxy is to try to contain strikers Javier Hernandez, who missed the past two games because he was in the health and safety protocols, and Dejan Joveljic, who have combined for 15 goals.
Pineda said he’s known Hernandez, commonly known as Chicharito, since 2006 when he debuted for Chivas. Pineda was his teammate. Hernandez has 109 caps with 52 goals for Mexico’s national team.
“I really like to see the development of him because I still remember the first few training sessions with him and the passion he showed for every training session,” Pineda said. “Then he has had a great, great career. And everything through hard work, and just a lot of grinding in the early stages. So I’m very happy for his success.”
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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 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1
July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
August 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1
August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
August 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
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE