Atlanta United works to fix mental mistakes after letting two leads slip away

Atlanta United midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze (9) reacts after missing a shot during the second half against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, April 14, 2024.
 Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta United midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze (9) reacts after missing a shot during the second half against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Miguel Martinez /

Atlanta United spent a longer-than-usual time watching film of Saturday’s loss to Cincinnati before Tuesday’s training session.

There were a few things to go over, including the individual and collective mistakes that contributed to both of Cincinnati’s goals that allowed the team to rally from 1-0 to win 2-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We always look back at what the video is, and we talk about it,” midfielder Jay Fortune said. “The biggest thing is, we know that mistakes are going to happen. And just as a team, how do we react to try to try and fix it?”

The defeat was only the second time under Pineda that it had lost a home match after it scored first, making its record in that situation 22-2-5. Under Pineda, the team is 28-5-12 when it scores first in all matches.

The past two matches, a 2-2 draw to Philadelphia after it took a 2-0 lead, and the loss to Cincinnati, resulted in the team dropping five points from winning positions.

“I don’t know if it’s frustration, but it hurts because we lost five points at home,” centerback Luis Abram said.

Fortune said the past two matches showed the importance of finishing matches. Philadelphia’s two goals came in the 73rd and 77th minutes. Cincinnati’s came in the 62nd and 64th minutes.

“After 94 minutes, 95 minutes, wherever the case is, we have to be focused the entire time,” Fortune said. “Because when you play the likes of Philadelphia and Cincinnati, they’re big teams in the league. They’re comfortable being behind, they’re comfortable being tired, and we have to be focused for 90 minutes. Because if we’re not, as we saw, the last few games leads can disappear. Just like that.”

Returns. Centerback Stian Gregersen participated in team training for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus in his right knee around March 19. He has missed the past five matches.

Centerback Derrick Williams worked out individually with one of the team’s trainers. Based upon past injuries and the timeline of recovery, Williams likely won’t be able to play in Saturday’s match at Chicago, but will be available to return for the home match against Minnesota on May 4. He has missed the past two matches because of a calf injury.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

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.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 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.