Atlanta United’s Giorgos Giakoumakis scoring at a high rate

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Despite playing almost half the minutes of the players he is chasing, Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has scored the fourth-most goals in MLS this season.

With two more goals scored in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Chicago, Giakoumakis has scored eight in 527 minutes. LAFC’s Dennis Bouanga leads with 10 goals in 919 minutes.

“It’s something natural,” Giakoumakis said. “It’s something I said in my first interview here. What am I being paid for? They pay me for one reason. And the main reason is that I can score goals, and on that aspect, I’m happy that I’m doing part of my job.”

He is remarkably accurate. He has taken 23 shots, putting 11 on target. Of those 11, eight have crossed the end line. He ranks third in the league in goals per shots (0.35) and first among strikers in goals per shots on target (0.73).

Giakoumakis has played fewer minutes that the league’s best scorers because he is being brought back gradually from a hamstring injury, manager Gonzalo Pineda said Saturday.

In the past three matches, his minutes have increased from 19 against Charlotte to 37 (with one goal) against Colorado to 45 against Chicago. The team will play at Orlando on Saturday.

Giakoumakis doesn’t seem impressed by what he’s doing. He said anyone on Atlanta United can score, pointing out that left back Andrew Gutman scored the team’s first goal Saturday.

He said the issue is that the team needs wins, and to do that, players need to demand more from themselves, particularly defending set pieces.

Chicago scored its first goal from a corner kick and its second from a throw in.

“It’s a bit weird because we’re really strong on set pieces,” he said. Atlanta United has scored 10 goals on set pieces. Gutman’s goal came from a Thiago Almada shot on a set piece that was deflected by Chicago’s goalkeeper.

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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1

March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0

March 18 Atlanta United 5, Portland 1

March 25 Columbus 6, Atlanta United 1

April 1 Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 0

April 8 Atlanta United 1, New York City FC 1

April 15 Atlanta United 2, Toronto FC 2

April 23 Atlanta United 2, Chicago 1

April 29 Nashville SC 3, Atlanta United 1

May 6 Inter Miami CF 2, Atlanta United 1

May 13 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 1

May 17 Atlanta United 4, Colorado 0

May 20 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 3

May 27 at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.

May 31 vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m., FS1

June 7 or Sept. 13 at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.

June 10 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 21 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

June 24 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m., Fox

July 8 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

July 15 vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 20 at Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 26 vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 30 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 2 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 vs. Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, TBA