Carlos Bocanegra, Gonzalo Pineda intend to return to Atlanta United in 2024

Atlanta United President Garth Lagerwey, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Vice President Carlos Bocanegra pose on Friday at the introduction of the player. (Doug Roberson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Doug Roberson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Doug Roberson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta United President Garth Lagerwey, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Vice President Carlos Bocanegra pose on Friday at the introduction of the player. (Doug Roberson/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Carlos Bocanegra said that he and manager Gonzalo Pineda and his staff intend to return to Atlanta United for its 2024 MLS season.

Atlanta United made the playoffs but were beaten by Columbus in the first round. Atlanta United hasn’t won a playoff series or appeared in a championship game in any tournament since 2019.

“Really proud of the work that all the players and the staff put in this year, and we had great support at home and throughout the year,” said Bocanegra, the team’s vice president and technical director. “Fell short of our goals ultimately, and we’re disappointed by that, but really excited about our projection, where we are, what we can continue to build.”

Bocanegra’s contract is guaranteed through 2025. Pineda’s is guaranteed through 2024.

Bocanegra helped build the teams that won the MLS Cup in 2018 and the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup in 2019. Atlanta United failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2020 and 2022.

Pineda was hired in August 2021. He helped lead the club to the playoffs that season. The club is 30-26-25 under Pineda in regular-season matches.

Among Atlanta United’s goals before the season were to contend for the Supporters Shield, finish at least fourth in the East and to advance out of the group stage of the Leagues Cup. The team finished sixth and didn’t advance in the Leagues Cup. It went 10-3-4 at home and 3-6-8 on the road. It lost both road matches at Columbus in the playoffs by a combined score of 6-2. It was beaten on the road by Miami in the Leagues Cup 4-0.

“We weren’t at that level consistently across the season, but not that far from finishing out of the top four, and I think you see with the games and how important that is for us,” he said. “We have such an amazing place to play (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium) in front of our fans, and how we play there. The flip side to that is we’ve also got to address some of the issues that, historically this club, we’ve not done very well on the road.”

Atlanta United scored the second most goals in MLS (66) but also allowed the third most in the East (53) and the most of any team that made the playoffs. Bocanegra said they believe they can improve upon that by finding a better balance with personnel.

Bocanegra said that President Garth Lagerwey’s influence is advancing the club with resources devoted to analytics, scouting and sports performance and that he is excited about the future.

“I really feel good about the setup that we have and the front office and how we can help translate that onto the field. ...,” he said. “So yes, very, very happy here, and I just want to help contribute and help do what I can to get this club continued on that path and hopefully win some championships. Because that’s what we believe in.”

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