Pineda and the players talked through a long video session Friday, during which he showed them moments in Wednesday’s game when they stopped taking risks. He said that on defense the team didn’t allow many chances to Nashville when the formation was organized as a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1. He said the goals came from broken plays when the team either didn’t press correctly, didn’t win a 50/50 ball or was second to a loose ball.
The teaching moments came when they discussed moments such as when to risk making a tackle, or when to perhaps move the line 10 yards back so the defense isn’t as susceptible to a long pass.
“When we were there, we were very solid,” he said. “So it’s a positive again. But obviously, the specific question is we cannot stop playing. ... What we are going to learn from this is not just for another playoff game, it’s going to be also throughout the season.”
New England, with reigning MVP Carles Gil and big striker Adam Buksa, will be a challenge for the Five Stripes, which will play without starting goalkeeper Brad Guzan (achilles), centerback Miles Robinson (achilles) and fullback Andrew Gutman (shoulder). After a poor start, the Revolution are 2-1-1 in their past four games, with eight goals scored and six allowed.
Atlanta United’s offense is starting to find its form the more that Marcelino Moreno, Ronaldo Cisneros, Araujo and Almada play together. In the past two games in which the quartet has started, the team has scored six goals. They haven’t been on the field together much because of injuries suffered by Araujo in the season opener and Cisneros arriving on loan from Chivas a few weeks later.
Pineda said that the more the players train and play together, the better the offense will be.
“It’s not magic,” Pineda said. “It takes time. They have to go through that process, but they understand better each other. And it’s not like, I just put the best players out there and they’re going to succeed. It takes time.”
Pineda and Brooks Lennon said the team is much more comfortable at home, playing on the big pitch. It is 3-0-2 at home and 1-4-0 on the road. Three of its next four are at home.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to go and get a result at home against the top team in MLS, and if we do that, we know we can stick with anyone. Whoever we play against, we can get a result,” Lennon said. “And that gives us confidence moving forward, whether it be the rest of the season or into the playoffs.”
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
Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found
Apple - https://apple.co/3ISD6Ve
Spotify - https://spoti.fi/3L8TN0C
Google podcasts - https://bit.ly/32KlZW3
If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast...and if you like what you hear please give us a good rating so we can grow the show.
And the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a special offer for Atlanta United supporters and listeners to this podcast. If you subscribe today you will not only get unlimited digital access to the AJC and the Sunday paper for $2.30 a week but we are also throwing in a special limited edition Atlanta United and Atlanta Journal Constitution scarf. Sign up now at subscribe.ajc.com/utdscarf.
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 vs. New England, 1:30 p.m., ESPN
May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX
May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
June 19 vs Miami, 3 p.m., ESPN2
June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC
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, 6 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