Q&A with Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan

Sept. 18, 2021 - Atlanta, Ga: Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan reacts after their 3-2 win against D.C. United at Mercedes Benz Stadium Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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Sept. 18, 2021 - Atlanta, Ga: Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan reacts after their 3-2 win against D.C. United at Mercedes Benz Stadium Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan answers five important questions about the MLS team:

Q: Is this team ready for its first game?

A: Ready or not, game’s coming. So we’ll be ready.

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Q: What have been the good things about the preseason?

A: I think just overall in terms of understanding what’s been asked from the coaching staff, patterns of play, ideas, the cohesiveness has certainly shown through at different points, which is certainly a positive.

Q: What’s still under construction?

A: Everything is. It’s the first game of a long season ahead. And so there’s going to be moments when it’s helter-skelter, and it’s crazy and it’s chaotic. There’s going to be moments that hopefully it looks like we’ve been training for the last six months. But, yeah, there’s going to be times when we need to be able to weather a storm here, there, and they’re entitled to have the ball as well. And so, you know, it should be good.

Q: You’re a big believer in intensity and coming out with intensity and starting games on the right foot. Do you see that from this group of players, that they’re capable and wanting to do that?

A: Yeah. There’s probably a difference in terms of understanding from what you guys interpret as intensity is, in what we’re doing on the field.

You know, going back to the other day, I saw some of your tweets. And, you know, I would disagree with how you labeled the start of the game for us. In those moments, any team is allowed to have the ball, any team is just as good and able to attack and create problems for us. That’s their job.

And so, intensity doesn’t mean just rah, rah, rah and run around like chickens with our heads cut off. It’s being smart when we’re pressing, how we’re pressing, where we’re winning the ball back. And so, yeah, it’s certainly important to have intensity, it’s certainly important to have a good start to the game. But you know, we have to do it in an intelligent way.

Q: Do you want to be captain again?

A: For me, it’s not about one captain, it’s about leaders on the field. You need guys all over the field to take up ownership of what’s happening. You need guys directing traffic being commanding, helping other guys around them. You know, with or without an armband?

I do that. That’s my personality. That’s part of the position as a goalkeeper, you see the entire field. So you know, regardless, that’s how I play.

I think we have a few guys on our team that that have taken up that leadership, but they’ve certainly taken more accountability, which is good because we need that. And we need more guys on the field that are doing that.

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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 10 at Charlotte, 1:30 p.m., ABC, ESPN Deportes

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