‘Unlucky’ Atlanta United dealing with the life of soccer

Is karma to blame for Atlanta United’s recent scoring issues?

Fullback Andrew Gutman jokingly floated that theory.

Since scoring in stoppage time of three consecutive games to turn negative results into positive results, Atlanta United has scored once in its past three games. It will play at Montreal on Saturday.

“It’s kind of funny, we scored so many late goals earlier in the first couple of games, and now it almost feels like a little bit of payback,” Gutman said Tuesday. “Now we’re not scoring the goals. But you know, for me personally, I’m not worried that the goals aren’t falling in. It’s almost more worrying if we’re not playing well.”

Fullback Brooks Lennon laughed when asked if he agreed with Gutman’s theory.

“Yeah, I think we had a lot of luck, late winners early on in the season,” Lennon said. “But now, the ball is not rolling that way anymore. And that’s just the way of life in the way of soccer.”

The late scoring run started with a Jake Mulraney winner against Charlotte. It continued with a Lennon free kick to earn a 3-3 draw with Montreal, also at home, and ended with a Marcelino Moreno header at D.C. United to take all three points.

“Yeah, I think we had a lot of luck, late winners early on in the season. But now, the ball is not rolling that way anymore. And that's just the way of life in the way of soccer."

- Atlanta United's Brooks Lennon

Since, the only goal came by Ronaldo Cisneros in last week’s 2-1 loss at Miami. And it came on a broken set piece.

The good news is those late scores helped the club build enough of a cushion that it is tied with 11 points for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with Toronto and Montreal, which is unbeaten in its past six across all competitions. It trails first-place Philadelphia by six points and is one point ahead of eighth-place NYCFC.

“It’s kind of funny, a lot of teams would be really happy to be fourth in the table,” Gutman said. “But for us to be fourth in the table, it’s a different feeling. It’s almost like a little bit of a letdown for us. And I think that just speaks to the goals we have this season and our expectations of ourselves.

“We feel like we’re underperforming a little bit. But, you know, that’s just something that you hit these ups and downs in the season. And right now we’re maybe on a little bit of a down slope, but one game turns everything around. And then, you know, we could go on a run three, four games, winning in a row.”

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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 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, 3 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