Brooks Lennon ready to contribute for Atlanta United

Atlanta United's Brooks Lennon dribbles the ball during a match last season against the New York Red Bulls. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta United's Brooks Lennon dribbles the ball during a match last season against the New York Red Bulls. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Brooks Lennon, one of Atlanta United’s more consistent players the past two seasons, has healed from the bone bruise that affected him during the preseason and is ready to contribute to the MLS club.

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Lennon said rest helped him overcome the injury, which is something he said he has been dealing with and which reoccurred while he was with the U.S. men’s national team in its camp.

Despite missing most of Atlanta United’s preseason camp, Lennon came on in the second half of last week’s 3-1 win against Sporting KC and made an immediate impact with a cross that if not for goalkeeper Tim Melia’s fingertip, would have been put in on goal by Josef Martinez. Lennon said he wants to increase his assist total this season. He had a career-high six last season and three the season before, his first with the team. He has 19 in 142 appearances in the league.

“I pride myself on being a guy that the coaching staff can count on to do his job and work hard for the team to get as many points as possible this year,” Lennon said. “So I’m looking to get my assists tally up this year and get my personal best and obviously any chance I get on goal, hopefully I can score some goals to help the team.”

Lennon’s opportunities to do those could come as soon as Saturday at Colorado.

Lennon was mentioned last week by manager Gonzalo Pineda as a candidate to replace at right wing the injured Luiz Araujo, who is expected to miss four weeks because of a hamstring injury.

Though he mostly has played either as a fullback or wingback for Atlanta United, Lennon played the position once last season. He said it’s one he is comfortable playing because he grew up playing there.

“It’s a little bit different than playing right back or right wingback,” he said. “You’re obviously starting at a higher position and moving in areas where you normally wouldn’t move if you were playing at right back. So it’s fine for me; I feel comfortable there. And wherever the coach wants me to play I’m willing to do.”

Pineda said he was pleased with Lennon’s results against Sporting KC. He mentioned the cross to Martinez as well as a one-on-one Lennon had with Melia.

“We know his quality in the final third the type of rounds he makes in behind,” Pineda said.

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

March 13 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FS1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 10 at Charlotte, 1:30 p.m., ABC, ESPN Deportes

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs. Miami, 4 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

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, 6 p.m., FS1

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

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

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