Atlanta United’s Gonzalo Pineda adopts a familiar theme

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

ORLANDO, Fla. — With Atlanta United riding its first two-game win streak this MLS season, manager Gonzalo Pineda has adopted a familiar message as he tries to lead his team into the playoffs.

Us, the Five Stripes, against Them, mainly the game officials.

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He ranted in his immediate postgame comments to the team’s TV partner and then to other media after Wednesday’s 1-0 victory at Orlando about what he perceived as incorrect calls that negatively affected his team.

Among his complaints were that the game lasted 5 ½ additional minutes instead of four, which was put on the board when the 90 minutes were up. He said Atlanta United hasn’t been given the same grace this season. He noted that in other games, when Atlanta United has been chasing a result, too little time has been added to the end of games based upon his measurement of stoppage time. He also noted that Orlando was moving free kicks 10 yards closer to Atlanta United’s goal.

“So, it feels like we have to fight against everyone, but no problem, this team can take, this team can endure and overcome those little adversities,” he said.

With Wednesday’s victory, Atlanta United moved to within three points of fifth place in the Eastern Conference and to within two of seventh. The top seven teams will make the playoffs. Atlanta United has three games remaining, starting with Saturday’s tough match against Philadelphia, which is competing for the Supporters’ Shield. The teams Atlanta United is chasing have four games remaining.

Against Orlando, Atlanta United was called for 16 fouls. Orlando was called for 10. Atlanta United was given three yellow cards. Orlando received one. For the season, Atlanta United has been called for 355 fouls. Its opponents have been whistled for 357.

“It could be that sometimes the officials play against us, but we can’t focus on that,” midfielder Thiago Almada said. “We have to do our jobs on the field. We all make mistakes, so they can make mistakes, too. But, as Gonzalo says, sometimes we feel that.”

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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 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

Aug. 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

Aug. 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

Aug. 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

Aug. 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

Aug. 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 0

Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1:30 p.m., UniMas