Atlanta United heads to Florida for three friendlies

Atlanta United 2 defender Noah Cobb #39 dribbles during the USL match against the Charleston Battery at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday March 27, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitch Martin/Atlanta United

Atlanta United 2 defender Noah Cobb #39 dribbles during the USL match against the Charleston Battery at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday March 27, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United’s preseason will hit another gear in the next 10 days because the team is headed to the Tampa area and then to Miami to fine-tune tactics and learn more about each other.

The Five Stripes were scheduled to fly to Florida on Tuesday afternoon. They will play Montreal in a friendly Wednesday. The format will be four 30-minute periods. Atlanta United will follow by playing Tampa Bay on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to be played at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.

After the match against Tampa Bay, the team will head across the state to finish its preseason. It will play Sporting KC on Feb. 17. The team will then fly back to Atlanta to begin preparing for its season-opening match at Columbus on Feb. 24.

“I think the goal has to be to win every single game,” centerback Noah Cobb said. “There’s a saying, winning is a habit. I think there’s times during the season where you’re not necessarily playing your best. But if you can still scrape together those results, then that’s what can really push you into that top four (in the standings). But I think also just making sure we’re really coming together as a group and the locker room’s really, really solid.”

Atlanta United 1-0-1 in its preseason friendlies. It defeated Birmingham 2-1 two weeks ago and tied Memphis 1-1 last week in Athens. The team will continue to work on its defensive shape and recognizing keys when to press.

With the exception of Thiago Almada, who is playing for Argentina’s Under-23 national team in Olympic qualifying in Venezuela, the entire team should travel to Florida. Several players, including centerback Stian Gregersen and Dax McCarty, were held out of the friendly in Athens. Caleb Wiley, who sustained a shoulder injury while with the U.S. men’s national team, returned to training Tuesday. Edwin Mosquera, who sustained a groin injury while with Colombia’s U-23 national team, was seen jogging and doing other exercises.

Gregersen and McCarty are two of the five players who weren’t on the first team or with Atlanta United 2 last season.

“That’s a huge positive part of the preseason, and the new faces coming in the locker room, and we try to make them very welcome from the first day and to make easier and then get to know each other even more because we all know that it’s going to help in the pitch, right?” fullback Ronald Hernandez said.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 at Columbus, 2 p.m.

March 9 vs. New England, 7:30 p.m.

March 17 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

March 23 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

March 31 vs. Chicago, 3:30 p.m., Fox

April 6 at NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

April 14 vs. Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m., Fox

April 20 vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

April 27 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

May 4 vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

May 11 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

May 15 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

May 18 at Nashville, 1:30 p.m.

May 25 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

May 29 at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

June 2 vs Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., Fox

June 15 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

June 19 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 22 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

June 29 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 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.