What was said: Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

Nashville SC midfielder Luke Haakenson (26) and Atlanta United forward Jackson Conway vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Caption
Nashville SC midfielder Luke Haakenson (26) and Atlanta United forward Jackson Conway vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Credit: Mark Humphrey

Credit: Mark Humphrey

A portion of what was said after Atlanta United’s 2-2 draw at Nashville on Thursday:

Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze

On how important the result is

“We are in a bad moment with everything that happened to us. The result is something that right now we can’t analyze. What my players showed me today is something I’ve been asking them since we started. I would tell you the same even if we lost the game because of what they put on the field today.”

On what the team showed him

“They showed me that they put their heads down. They were not afraid to play with or without the ball. Even when we were losing, they kept trying and fighting.”

On if the referee explained Jake Mulraney’s red card

“I asked the referee what he saw, and he told me that (Jake) Mulraney did not touch the ball. I asked him to check again if that happened because I thought he touched the ball but I did not ask any more.”

On Jackson Conway’s performance

“I saw him very well. He understood what we trained. He was not afraid to play, and he wanted to help the team. I told you guys he was playing better and better with the team. But the most important thing for me is the players who are not used to playing, they performed like they were with the group before. What they did is something very important in my profession as a coach. For me, the most important thing is the group of players and not talk about individuals.”

Atlanta United defender Anton Walkes

On the result of the match

“It just showed the character we have within the team. I think we basically showed that side. I think some of the games, some results we’ve taken away, we’ve lacked a little bit of fire and grit. In those conditions of the game, going down with one man less and guys feeling injured. And it’s just about finding a bit more and we found it today. We’re going to need to the next few games coming up. A few suspensions, I believe, and injuries and guys still being away international.  Good spirit from the team. I’m pumped for our effort tonight.”

On his goal

“I want to say it just happened. I think there are areas where guys want to aim for and it kind of came in an awkward position. But, to be fair, me and Jake did one of those yesterday, where we were just playing around doing our own thing yesterday. Just spending time together and our relationship, things will work like that. I’ll take the credit on that.”

On the grit of the team in the match

“It was tough. Especially, when they bring on fresh substitutes, they’re bringing in a whole fresh forward line. In those conditions, it’s hard, especially with new guys coming in who haven’t played, a few players getting a cramp here and there. But it’s understandable because, like I said, guys are coming and being demanded to play in this type of game. Everyone done fantastic and, again, I can’t fault the effort from the guys. We’re very proud of us tonight.”

Atlanta United forward Jackson Conway

On if his goal was his first touch and discusses the goal itself

“I think I might have had a layoff before that. But it was definitely the first big touch I had in the game. That’s one of Gabi’s main things as a center forward is making that double movement. You pull that defender one way and then, next thing you know, you’re off his shoulders. That’s something they’ve been telling me. Josef’s been telling me, just on the side. It’s kind of an easy way to get away from a defender and create that yard of space that you need. It worked out. Definitely will keep that in my locker for sure.”

On his playing time and team struggles

“Obviously it has been tough for the team, and we’ve all been struggling recently. For me, it’s always an experience thing. To hear what Gabi has to say after the games. Talking to Cubo after seeing what he took from the game. I take as a learning experience. I don’t get too down on myself if I don’t play a certain amount of minutes. It’s tough playing in this league as a young player. You got to take these opportunities. You can’t’ just take it for granted. Every time I’ve played, I try to make the most out of it. My parents were here at the game today, so it was a very proud moment for myself and my family. So, take those things in. And it’s a short career so you got to do what you got to do, and I’m glad I’m starting early.”

On the academy players playing in the match

“It was like Academy United out there tonight. Even with Chol coming in and putting in a big shift. He’s been working really hard. I think he deserves it. It’s great seeing guys that I played with since I was 12 years old. With George Campbell coming on, I was super hyped. His parents texted me after the game, so we’re all pretty tight. It’s awesome seeing those guys I came through the Academy with together. Especially with Tyler, it’s a tough spot to be in, starting two games back-to-back as an 18-year-old.  So, hats off to him. He worked hard tonight. Very proud of the Academy players.”

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Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1,

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 vs. New England, 5 p.m., ESPN

July 21 at Cincinnati, 8 p.m., FS1

July 24 vs. Columbus, 3:30 p.m., ABC

July 30 at Orlando, 8 p.m., ESPN

Aug. 4 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 7 at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 15 vs. LAFC, 4 p.m. ESPN

Aug. 18 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 21 at D.C. United, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 28 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 10 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE