Atlanta United’s Heinze: ‘I’m not afraid to lose’

Atlanta United manager Gabriel Heinze said he wasn’t worried about his job after watching his team lose to New England 1-0 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The team is winless in its past eight and has been shut out in four of its past five games. It has scored only 13 goals in 13 games.

The last time the team went through such a poor stretch manager Frank de Boer was let go. That came when the team was shut out three consecutive games in the MLS tournament in Orlando during the 2020 season.

“I’m not afraid to lose,” Heinze said. “It’s a long time that I’ve been in this world. I know very well the rule.”

Heinze praised his team after Saturday’s loss, touting its competitiveness and courage.

Because of injuries, call-ups to national teams and one important choice made by Heinze, the team was without what would be considered a very good starting roster of players. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, centerback Miles Robinson and fullback George Bello are with the U.S. competing in the Gold Cup. Ezequiel Barco is with Argentina preparing for the Olympics. Midfielders Emerson Hyndman, Franco Ibarra and Mo Adams are out with injuries. Midfielder Santiago Sosa was out because of yellow-card accumulation. Lastly, Heinze elected not to put Josef Martinez on the game-day roster because he hasn’t let him train with the first team for most of the past two weeks for an undisclosed reason. Heinze said that Martinez will re-join the team this week.

As a result, Heinze has been leaning on inexperienced players. Two games ago, four Homegrown players were on the field at the final whistle. Against New England, three were on the field.

“I want us to keep working,” he said. “I don’t want to leave this path. It happened before to me. The path was the same. I’m giving everything I have. I really believe in what I’m doing, and I will keep doing the same.”

Heinze said that he doesn’t need the support of President Darren Eales or Vice President Carlos Bocanegra because he said they are with him.

“I talk to Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra every day,” he said. “I understand the position that they’re in. But they have always been alongside me. They’ve always seen how we do things. I’m not going to change their minds if something happens. I don’t need support. What I plan to do is to keep working.”

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Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1,

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0

July 21 at Cincinnati, 8 p.m., FS1

July 24 vs. Columbus, 3:30 p.m., ABC

July 30 at Orlando, 8 p.m., ESPN

Aug. 4 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 7 at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 15 vs. LAFC, 4 p.m. ESPN

Aug. 18 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 21 at D.C. United, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 28 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 10 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE