Some, like Miles Robinson and Josef Martinez, are off with their national teams.
Some, like Ezequiel Barco, are excused while loans or transfers are being completed.
Some may still being pursued as additions to Atlanta United’s roster.
“I can be only focused on the players I have here,” Pineda said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do, trying to create the culture and the training habits that we need to build the style that we want to play this year. And I think I can’t be distracted with those things.”
Pineda lauded the depth on the roster at left and right fullback with George Bello, Andrew Gutman, Caleb Wiley, Brooks Lennon and Ronald Hernandez, and in the central midfield with Ozzie Alonso, Franco Ibarra, Santiago Sosa, Tyler Wolff, Amar Sejdic, Emerson Hyndman and Marcelino Moreno. Asked if there were other areas that he would like to see strengthened, he said there are still things happening, but that he is pleased with the plan.
“I feel confident that however the situation goes in the next few weeks are going to have even a better team,” he said.
With the players available, Pineda said they are working on establishing creating standards, habits and behaviors that the club wants to see on and off the field. Pineda said everyone wants to win. How the team wants to win also is important. As the training camp progresses toward the opener against Sporting KC on Feb. 27, Pineda said more work will be done on formations and tactics. He said the team is going to work more on playing out of a back four.
“We want to play style where the fans that we have a big, big crowd every every time we play in our stadium, and even outside of our stadium,” he said. “We want them to feel represented by us. We want them to feel proud for the style of football that we play. And obviously lifting trophies that’s always part of of the deal, right? We want to play good, but we want to play effective as well.”
Turning to individual players, Pineda praised Wiley, a 17-year-old who signed a Homegrown contract earlier this week. Pineda said he would have no issue playing someone that young if he wins the job in camp. He said George Campbell could step in as a third centerback should the team want to revert back to playing three at the back. He said he hasn’t thought about putting a minutes cap on Alonso, a 36-year-old midfielder who signed with the club as a free agent.
“You have to remember that when you touch the ball, the ball doesn’t know how old you are,” Pineda said. “The ball doesn’t know how much you make, the ball doesn’t know if you’re 16, or you’re 34, 37, 39, 40. They only move through the quality from the guy that kicks the ball.”
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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule
Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m., FS1
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 9 at Charlotte, 3 p.m., ESPN
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
August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
August 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1
August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
August 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
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE