Atlanta United spent break working on offense

Credit: Brandon Magnus/Atlanta United

Credit: Brandon Magnus/Atlanta United

Atlanta United spent most of the international break trying to improve its ability to score goals.

The team is coming off of being shut out by Philadelphia two weeks ago. It will play at New England on Saturday and needs three points to keep alive its slim hopes of making the MLS playoffs. The team trails seventh-place Miami by two points.

“We know how we attack in the final third,” manager Gonzalo Pineda said. “It’s just being sharper, trying to make sure that players have confidence, once they score the goal, once they start in the final third, you know, score the goals. And that’s it.”

Atlanta United has scored 46 goals, the third-most of the 14 teams that aren’t above the playoff line in the Eastern and Western Conferences, and more than two of the teams in the East above the playoff line. However, it has scored one goal in its past two games.

“In the last few games, we’ve been creating a lot of chances, but we haven’t been able to convert those opportunities,” midfielder Matheus Rossetto said. “So we’ve been working on attacking and trying to take advantage of the spaces that we’re presented with.”

The team leads the league in key passes (390), but is fifth in expected goals (50.1), according to fbref.com.

New England has allowed 48 goals, including six in the past three games.

“I think we just have to have more confidence, more confidence in what we’re doing, more confidence in all of our teammates because we have players who are in those positions who are very capable,” Rossetto said.

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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 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 0

Sept 17 Atlanta United 0 Philadelphia 0

Oct. 1 at New England, 1:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE