Atlanta United’s offense capable of ‘important things’

Atlanta United's Luiz Araújo dribbles during the match against NYCFC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta United's Luiz Araújo dribbles during the match against NYCFC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

NEW YORK — Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda, the players and their supporters got their first look at the attacking quartet of Josef Martinez, Luiz Araujo, Thiago Almada and Marcelino Moreno in a starting lineup Sunday.

The results were good.

Martinez, assisted by Almada, scored for the third time in four games to help Atlanta United earn a 2-2 draw at NYCFC.

The quartet had not started any of the team’s previous 16 games because of injuries, surgeries and suspensions. On Sunday, they combined for 11 shots, seven on goal, eight chances created and 12 fouls won.

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Pineda thinks they are capable of even more.

“We just need to jell a few more games to really see what these attacking four can produce,” Pineda said.

Pineda said Almada’s rhythm was off. It was his first game since serving a three-game suspension after receiving a red card against Columbus on May 28.

Moreno was asked to make runs behind NYCFC’s defense, which weren’t consistently successful because he said the proper ball wasn’t hit to him. But Pineda said he was glad that Moreno tried to execute the tactics.

As for Martinez and Araujo, Pineda said they are going to connect very well.

And if help is needed, Ronaldo Cisneros and Dom Dwyer can come off the bench. They combined to score the tying goal against NYCFC in the 86th minute. It was Dwyer’s fourth goal in a league game for the team and Cisneros’ first assist.

“I feel like I have enough attacking power,” Pineda said. “It’s whether we are a bit more solid defensively, and we can keep a couple more clean sheets, and then we’re gonna get points for sure.”

Cisneros said he thinks the team’s offense is capable of “important things.”

“Our goal is to get into the playoffs and then to be able to compete for the title,” he said. “So you named a lot of really good players, but I think it’s the whole squad. It’s every guy. We know that when it’s their moment and they’re called on, that they’re capable. So that’s how we feel, you know, that we have a good group and we’re all competing for spots on this team, but everyone is here to help the group, and that’s the sensation that we all have.”

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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 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, 5:30 p.m., FS1

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

Aug. 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