Ronaldo Cisneros was lively in his debut for Atlanta United in Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Charlotte.
Cisneros, on loan from Chivas, replaced Dom Dwyer at striker and showed he has speed that the team hasn’t had at the position since Josef Martinez was running at defenses in 2019.
“I think he has good skills, but the speed that he has, the power that he has, those extra yards where he was able to run in behind ...” manager Gonzalo Pineda said.
Cisneros once ran past a Charlotte defender to catch up to a ball over the top. Another time, Cisneros forced a defender to kick the ball out of bounds after a footrace to another ball into space.
Cisneros finished with eight touches in 25 minutes. He won one foul and completed 50% of his passes.
Cisneros may get more opportunities. Martinez is expected to miss six to eight weeks because of arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Dwyer missed an opportunity to tie the game in the first half from close range. Jackson Conway, another striker, wasn’t selected. Though Conway played well last week off the bench at D.C. United, he also missed a sitter in the second half.
Pineda may be looking for someone who won’t miss chances.
With the exception of one stat – goals scored, which Pineda pointed out – the stats are almost meaningless for Cisneros because he just joined the team last Monday. He hasn’t had a lot of time to learn what Pineda wants — and the tendencies of his teammates.
“That’s what you want, though, in terms of just arriving, somebody that’s going to put their body on the line and run and chase down balls and be a bit of a nuisance, and he certainly did that for us (Sunday),” goalkeeper and captain Brad Guzan said. “And I think he’s only going to grow the more time he spends with the group.”
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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 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., Peachtree TV
April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN
April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
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, 4 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
Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1
Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
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