If Ronaldo Cisneros can play soccer even a fraction as well as the player he’s named after, then Atlanta United’s offense may be just fine until injured striker Josef Martinez returns.
Cisneros said when his mom was pregnant, the Brazilian Ronaldo was banging in goals for Barcelona. His dad also liked the name. Thus, he was named.
Cisneros, who is on loan from LIGA MX power Chivas and arrived in training camp April 4, showed flashes of his potential when he came on as a sub in the second half to make his debut Sunday in the team’s 1-0 loss at Charlotte. Atlanta United (3-2-1) will host Cincinnati on Saturday.
“I think it was a difficult game,” he said. “But when I went in, I felt good, both physically, and on the soccer side I felt good. I didn’t have a lot of chances to score in those minutes.
“I know I still have things to work on, and I’m going to continue to try to improve and to try and integrate quickly into the team.”
Cisneros played 25 minutes and showed nice bursts of speed, particularly when attempting to catch up to balls hit over Charlotte’s last line of defender. Centerback George Campbell described Cisneros as a “willing runner.”
Cisneros said his speed is one of his assets, but said he needs to understand how to use that speed with his movements so that the results are goals. He said he also feels he is good in the air.
Cisneros said manager Gonzalo Pineda has done a good job explaining to him what he wants tactically. The two spent a few minutes in conversation after training Tuesday. Cisneros then joined Jake Mulraney, Ronald Hernandez, Caleb Wiley, Jackson Conway and Aiden McFadden in some post-practice crossing and finishing exercises. Cisneros is competing with Dom Dwyer, whom he replaced in the second half, and Conway for minutes at striker. Martinez is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Cisneros said he knew a little about Atlanta United before the loan was finalized. He said he watched the team defeat Club America in the Campeones Cup in 2019. He also watched them against Club America and Monterrey in Champions League series. He got a firsthand look when Atlanta United played Chivas in a friendly in Guadalajara earlier this year. He said he didn’t know then that he would soon join the club on a loan that he hopes gets extended.
“I think, even though it’s a young club, it’s a club that’s very well known in the U.S. and also internationally,” he said. “In Mexico, it’s a very well-known club. They’ve shown in the short time that they’ve been able to win championships, and I think it’s a good personal challenge for me to come in to play here.”
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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 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., Peachtree TV
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, 1:30 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
Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1
Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
Aug. 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
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