Atlanta United Look For Break In Miami After Nine Win-less Games

The Five Stripes desperately want to get out of a fix they can’t seem to get out of.

It’s been nine games since Atlanta United won a match (March 31, a 3-0 win against Chicago). They haven’t scored a win on their home turf, Mercedes Benz Stadium, in eleven games. They have slipped out of playoff contention to twelfth place in the Eastern Conference, with only 13 points gained from 14 matches. The team lacked star power in the last few games, with Giorgos Giakoumakis out with a hamstring injury, and Thiago Almada in Argentina to participate in the World Cup.

The bad luck even seems to follow them off the field as well as on. Today, Major League Soccer announced they have fined goalkeeper Brad Guzan for not leaving the field in a timely manner in the 60th minute of last Saturday’s game against LA FC.

But when Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda spoke with the press about the state of the team, he told them the team is trying to break out of its malaise.

“Of course we want to get out of this situation,” said Pineda, in his third year as head coach of the Stripes. “We just need to keep going, head down, keep working, keep grinding, keep doing the things that we’re doing.”

The Athletic reported Tuesday that speculation is already growing about Pineda’s future with the club. Fans are not happy with the team’s present state and are starting to demand house cleaning at the front offices of Atlanta United.

Pineda knows much is being said about the team’s negative trajectory and even his own prospects as the team’s coach, but he said he is staying focused on course-correcting his team and ignoring the outside noise.

“I put on my airpods. I put on some classical music and some opera music and I work and I keep working,” he said. “I know what’s probably being said. I haven’t read it and I haven’t heard of it. But I know that it’s normal when you’re not doing good. People are going to talk bad about you.”

Atlanta United is under pressure to get back on the right track, and the team they must soon face may be their toughest challenge yet: InterMiami, in their home field, led by soccer superstar Lionel Messi. Atlanta’s most recent games against Miami was a decisive win, 5-2 last September (without Messi) and a 4-0 shutout last summer, with Messi.

Pineda told the press Atlanta’s victory strategy is to contain Messi tomorrow night.

“My players know what we’re gonna try,” he said. “As always, at times it’s just trying to limit the danger that [InterMiami] can cause.” He added that Messi is the best player right now and they need to isolate him on the field because “he’s not the only player in the field.”

Atlanta United is 3-4-7 in 14 games played so far this season. See the chart below for how each game played out this season for the Five Stripes.

The Season So Far For Atlanta United

Date Opponent Atlanta Score Opponent Score  Result
February 24 Columbus 0 1 LOSS
March 9* New England 4 1 WIN
March 17* Orlando City 2 0 WIN
March 23 Toronto 0 2 LOSS
March 31* Chicago 3 0 WIN
April 6 New York City 1 1 DRAW
April 14* Philadelphia 2 2 DRAW
April 20* Cincinnati 1 2 LOSS
April 27 Chicago 0 0 DRAW
May 4* Minnesota 1 2 LOSS
May 11* DC United 2 3 LOSS
May 15 Cincinnati 0 1 LOSS
May 18 Nashville 1 1 DRAW
May 25* LA FC 0 1 LOSS

*Denotes home games at Mercedes Benz Stadium. This summary does not include pre-season games or US Open Cup games.