Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan working to play 2023 MLS season

Sept. 18, 2021 - Atlanta, Ga: Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan makes a save against D.C, United players during the second half at Mercedes Benz Stadium Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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Sept. 18, 2021 - Atlanta, Ga: Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan makes a save against D.C, United players during the second half at Mercedes Benz Stadium Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan said Friday he’s going to try to return and play for the MLS team next season.

Guzan suffered a ruptured Achilles in his right leg during a game against Cincinnati on April 16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“I’m committed to the long term in terms of playing,” the 37-year old said.

Speaking for the first time to media since the injury, Guzan, who will serve as a TV analyst for the team’s friendly against Pachuca on Tuesday, described the injury as bad luck.

Guzan has made 150 appearances in regular-season and playoff games for the Five Stripes.

Guzan said he felt like someone had kicked him when the rupture happened. He said as soon as he felt it, and heard it, he turned around to see if someone had kicked him.

“I just didn’t know what it was,” he said. “And when I looked behind me, nobody was behind me.”

Guzan was the second of three of the team’s players to suffer a torn Achilles this season. Dylan Castanheira and Miles Robinson are the others.

Guzan said he has no theories as to why the injuries have happened.

“You could sit there and play Monday morning quarterback all you want and say its this and that, speculate on this, speculate on that,” he said.

Guzan said he is tacking his recovery on a week-to-week path. He said he is using Castanheira’s program as a guide post. Castanheira suffered his tear 10 days before Guzan.

“From the people that I’ve spoken to, athletes, past athletes, when you start looking so far down the road, you forget the task at hand on a daily basis,” said Guzan, who joked that he feels like he’s a professional cyclist because of the time he is spending on a training cycle.

It’s been difficult for him to watch the team and not be able to play. He said he sat behind the goal for the last game against Columbus. He went from sitting to kneeling to standing. His voice got louder as he began shouting instructions to teammates.

“You want to be a part of the group and you’re seeing things that could be tweaked here and there and so just being back out there trying to help the group in whatever way I can,” he said “Whether that was my experience where there’s what I see in the moment just trying to be around the guys and get the buzz and the vibe that you get from the group when you’re healthy is is fantastic. And obviously when you’re injured, especially long term, that part can be difficult at times. So it’s been a journey. It’s been a grind.”

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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 vs Miami, 3 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

August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

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