The players have spoken to each other, as well as individually to Pineda, about the goings-on of the past few days. Midfielder Thiago Almada said he doesn’t feel as if the season has yet to slip away.
“I think we still have a chance,” he said. “We’ve got four or five games left. We’ve got to try to win every game and try to make the playoffs.”
Gutman said the team still believes it will score without Martinez, who leads Atlanta United with eight goals. He said the team has so many attacking options that someone will step up.
Defeating Toronto won’t be easy. It is 4-2-3 in its past nine games. Its offense, because of the additions of Italian nationals Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, has scored 21 goals during that span. Toronto also is one of six teams below the playoff line who have a chance at making the postseason.
“Their attack is amazing,” Gutman said. “They brought in a couple players, and it’s completely changed the dynamic of their attack. So, I want to make sure that they don’t get any chances, don’t get any space going forward. But at the same time, if I can get forward and make them defend, that kind of tires them out as well. So it’s kind of like a cat-and-mouse game.”
Pineda said he is proud of his team’s resilience and that it has a chance to keep showing it Saturday despite everything that has happened.
“We have faced enormous challenges, enormous challenges throughout the season,” he said. “And we’re still here with possibilities to make playoffs, and we will try to fight until the end for that.
“I think if there’s something I can tell you, I’m very proud of the fight at the end of the games, even though when things are not going well, they always fight, they always come back.”
For more content about Atlanta United
Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC
On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now
On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson
Atlanta United coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found
Apple - https://apple.co/3ISD6Ve
Spotify - https://spoti.fi/3L8TN0C
Google podcasts - https://bit.ly/32KlZW3
If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast...and if you like what you hear please give us a good rating so we can grow the show. If you have questions about the MLS team, you can email Doug Roberson at email@example.com, DM him on twitter @dougrobersonajc, or call 770-810-5297.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a special offer for Atlanta United supporters and listeners to this podcast. If you subscribe today you will not only get unlimited digital access to the AJC and the Sunday paper for $2.30 a week, but we are also throwing in a special limited edition Atlanta United and Atlanta Journal Constitution scarf. So sign up now at subscribe.ajc.com/utdscarf.
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 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0
July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1
July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1
July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0
July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0
August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1
August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2
August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1
August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2
August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2
August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1
Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1
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, 1:30 p.m., UniMas
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE