Atlanta United’s Gonzalo Pineda declines to discuss Josef Martinez

Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda didn’t want to talk about suspended striker Josef Martinez after his team’s 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Pineda was asked three different questions about Martinez, including if he has spoken to the player since Thursday, and each time he answered with a version of wanting to focus on the players who were at the stadium.

Martinez’s suspension was announced by the club Wednesday for what it described as conduct detrimental to the team. He is expected to rejoin the club Monday. It will play at Orlando on Wednesday. It trails seventh-place Columbus for the seventh and final playoff spot by five points with four games remaining.

Pineda said he didn’t think there was a causation between the team matching its season high for goals scored and Martinez not being on the game-day roster.

“Again, for me, it was a great performance of the team,” Pineda said. “And again, guys, the most important part is how the team played today ... They did a great job of creating chances but also scoring goals.”

Dom Dwyer started in place of Martinez. In 70 minutes, he took four shots, putting none on goal. He created one chance and finished with an expected goals of 0.5. Ronaldo Cisneros created one chance in his 20 minutes.

JuanJo Purata, who scored three goals Saturday, said he dedicated the win to Martinez, who is arguably the face of the franchise after leading it to the MLS Cup in 2018 and U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup in 2019.

Pineda implied that Martinez will be welcomed back to the team Monday.

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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

Aug. 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

Aug. 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

Aug. 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

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

Aug. 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

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

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

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