Brad Guzan: ‘We need to like roll our sleeves up and be frickin’ men about this’

Atlanta United on seven-match winless streak
Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan during the first half of the match against Orlando City at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Sunday March 17, 2024. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Atlanta United)

Credit: Alex Slitz/Atlanta United

Credit: Alex Slitz/Atlanta United

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan during the first half of the match against Orlando City at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Sunday March 17, 2024. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Atlanta United)

CINCINNATI — Atlanta United veterans Brad Guzan and Dax McCarty said snapping the team’s seven-match winless streak isn’t about tactics or formations.

It’s about heart. It’s about making the other team realize that nothing is going to come easy.

Right now, most things are coming too easily for Atlanta United’s opponents, such as the winning goal scored by Cincinnati in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss at TQL Stadium. A turnover. No pressure. Players switch off. Again no pressure. Easy pass. Easy header. Another loss.

“Once you stop beating yourself, you can actually focus on beating the opponent,” McCarty said. “And that’s what we’re missing right now. Because the way we started the game today was unacceptable. And the goal we conceded is unacceptable.”

McCarty said the soft goal is typical of what has been happening in the past seven matches. A mistake is made, and players lose confidence too quickly. He said MLS is tough. Margins are small. They have to be just as tough.

But it wasn’t just the moments that resulted in the goal that were unacceptable.

In the best example of what may be missing, Guzan described it as “scandalous” that Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta, at 5-foot-3 by far the shortest player on the pitch, won two headers.

“These are things that aren’t X’s and O’s,” he said, his voice rising. “These are things that, it’s got to hurt more to lose than joy to win. It’s got to hurt. We need to, excuse my language, but we need to like roll our sleeves up and be frickin’ men about this.”

The problem is these same issues have been happening for years, no matter the manager, no matter the players on the roster, no matter the competition.

Guzan said he can’t put a finger on why it keeps happening. Guzan said the players believe in manager Gonzalo Pineda. And the injuries to several players, many at the same position (centerback, striker) haven’t helped. The team may have lost attacking midfielder Thiago Almada to a calf injury and striker Giorgos Giakoumakis to a hamstring and possible concussion, both suffered against Cincinnati. The team will play at Nashville on Saturday. But he said everyone in the locker room is responsible for the poor streak.

Guzan said the players had a “chat” in the locker room after Wednesday’s match.

“We need to draw a line after tonight, and the performances have to be better,” Guzan said. “But even the little things that go into a game, this has got to be the low point. And we’ve got o look forward, we’ve got to we got to move, and it starts with Saturday.”

For more content about Atlanta United

Follow me on Twitter/X @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 -

Spotify -

Google podcasts -

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, DM him on Twitter @dougrobersonajc or call 404-526-2527.

Stay up to date every day on breaking news, in-depth investigations, politics, sports, entertainment, food and dining and so much more by becoming a subscriber to the AJC. Go to for a very special offer and unlock hundreds of original articles published daily on the refreshed and the new AJC mobile app. Plus, access to our news alerts, subscriber-only events, AJC original shows, films and videos, newsletters, and so much more.

Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

April 27 Atlanta United 1, Chicago 1

May 4 Minnesota 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte Independence 0 in U.S. Open Cup

May 11 D.C. United 3, Atlanta United 2

May 15 Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United 0

May 18 at Nashville, 1:30 p.m.

May 25 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

May 29 at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

June 2 vs Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., Fox

June 15 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

June 19 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 22 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

June 29 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

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

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.