Atlanta United knows one point is good but not enough

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #8 kicks the ball during the second half of the match against Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field in Chicago, United States on Saturday July 30, 2022. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #8 kicks the ball during the second half of the match against Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field in Chicago, United States on Saturday July 30, 2022. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

CHICAGO -- After Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Chicago, combined with Saturday’s other results in MLS, Atlanta United is four points behind the seventh and final playoff spot. The Five Stripes have played one less game than Cincinnati, the team holding the final spot above the playoff line, but three points for a win is less than the gap.

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While one point for Saturday’s draw was nice, three points were needed. The team has 12 matches remaining and five teams to try to leapfrog.

“Well, it’s never good enough,” Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda said of the draw. “I mean, I felt that in the way we’ve been playing in many games, again, I felt that we deserved a little bit more. And obviously, we always want to win.”

Fullback Caleb Wiley agreed, saying one point when there are so many teams bunched up below the playoff line isn’t enough.

“If we’re away, if we’re not winning, we can’t lose,” he said. “So I mean, a point is a point and we’ll take it.”

Pineda said the point earned could be important because the team plays its next game at home, where it is 5-2-4, compared to 1-7-3 away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Six of its remaining games are at home.

“Now, with the situation we’re coming here after the last very, very bad loss, we needed to not lose, we needed just to be stable, solid,” Pineda said. “I think the performance was very positive, this point can build something again. So, at times these type of ties bring some momentum into the team in terms of the intensity and the togetherness. That’s what I want. I wanted today that togetherness, and it was very solid.”

Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

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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 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