Short on positive results recently, Atlanta United isn’t short on confidence heading into Saturday’s game at Nashville.
“This game is very crucial for us,” Atlanta United centerback Miles Robinson said. “We should win this game, and we have to win this game.”
Asked why defeating an expansion team is considered crucial, Robinson said the team isn’t used to losing and that “the group as a whole knows we have better players than they do.”
For the season, Atlanta United (3-5-2) has one win in its past eight games. It has earned two points from its past three and is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points. The top 10 teams will quality for the playoffs. There are 13 games remaining.
Nashville (2-4-3) has earned five points in its past three games. It is in 11th place with nine points.
Atlanta United interim manager Stephen Glass said Nashville is having success because of good players in a system that’s hard to beat. Nashville likes to play defensively, with its offense coming from set pieces and counter-attacks.
“Up to us to overcome how strong they are defensively and being able to handle their counterattacks and forward play,” Glass said.
Meanwhile, Glass said that Atlanta United could consider itself slightly unlucky with refereeing decisions and small breaks with some results this season, which would explain why its results aren’t great.
In Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Miami, two penalty kicks were saved and an opposing player should have received a red card, which would have resulted in the opponent playing with 10 men throughout the second half of a tied game. Those are the breaks going against the team right now.
The team gave up a goal when, according to goalkeeper Brad Guzan, it “switched off and got lazy on set up" on a corner kick, resulting in a 3-on-2 situation that Miami took advantage of on its first goal.
“I don’t think we are too far off with getting it together,” Glass said. “I’m not going to get bogged down with the results right now because I think the results will come pretty quickly.”
Glass said the team hasn’t lost its confidence or work ethic. That was evident in the team rallying last week in the final minute to tie Orlando 1-1.
“It’s what gives us optimism because there are good footballers on this roster,” he said. “It’s important that when we do start getting those little breaks and getting what we feel we we are deserving and eradicating the little individual errors, then I think you will see a more rewarded group of players.”
Atlanta United coming games
Saturday at Nashville, 8:30 p.m., Fox Sports South
Sept. 19 Miami, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Southeast
Sept. 23 Dallas, 7 p.m., Fox Sports South
Sept. 27 at Chicago, 7:30 pm., Fox Sports Southeast
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