Brooks Lennon said Tuesday’s training session, which was fiery, focused on game scenarios, such as being ahead or behind by one or two goals, and how the players can be successful. The team has been good at rallying to secure a point or points this season, including last week’s late goal to earn a 2-2 draw at Nashville.
“That’s the thing that’s going to (help us) climb up the table and can get us these three points that we need,” Lennon said.
Should the team defeat Columbus, it will go into the break with confidence gained from the victory and knowing that standout striker Josef Martinez should be ready for the first game coming out of the break. Additionally, fullback Caleb Wiley and winger Machop Chol also could be available after overcoming their injuries.
The team is in eighth place in the East, but tied in points (16) with seventh-place Charlotte, having played one less game. Atlanta United trails first-place Philadelphia by eight points and is five ahead of last-place Chicago.
The team needs to start gaining ground on the leaders if it hopes to host a playoff game.
Pineda said all points are important.
“There are no games that count six points or seven points,” he said. “So yes, we know that we’re still in the first third of the season. But the season flies, and the time goes up very fast. And we cannot just say, ‘Oh, yeah, we don’t care about this because we have a lot of points ahead.’ No. We have to start to catch up a little bit.”
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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 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