Pineda promises a better Atlanta United through passion

“We play because we have to play, but in training some people don’t have that energy,” he said. “Some people don’t know what to do, or they don’t recognize or appreciate the shirt and what we’ve been doing for a long time and that’s probably the biggest problem.

“And if you don’t come here 100 per cent, you probably don’t have to choose to play at this club. That’s the message for everyone.

ExploreJosef Martinez talks about his future with the MLS club

Pineda spoke before Martinez after Saturday’s game, but he also mentioned that some attitudes and efforts maybe should have been corrected a while ago. Some of them were the subject of the team meeting.

“When you’re on the right road, then nobody notices, nobody cares,” he said. “And you kind of let it go because we’re fine, so don’t touch it, right?”

“But when it starts to happen like this, there are little things that we have to settle, and nobody talks about it, we have to put everything on the table and say ‘ok, that’s one, who wants to say anything about it?

Pineda and Martinez’s comments recall two pivotal moments in the team’s past. The first was the loss to Toronto in the 2018 season finale. Atlanta United were trying to clinch the supporters’ shield but were played off the pitch by the hosts.

The loss led then-manager Gerardo Martino to implement a five-man, defensive-focused backline, instead of four, for the playoffs. This helped the team win its first championship.

The second was a team meeting in 2019 under then-manager Frank de Boer around a 2-0 defeat at Columbus, which was played in pouring rain. Like Saturday’s meeting, the 2019 meeting centered on frustrations and expectations.

ExploreMore AJC coverage from Atlanta United

Atlanta United would win the Campeones Cup, the US Open Cup and arrive minutes after playing for the MLS Cup for the second consecutive year.

“I’m the first to admit that we had bad games,” Martinez said. “And we also brought many good games. And we brought a lot of joy to this city. But it’s a strange year and that’s life. Sometimes we have to fight with what we have and move on.

Pineda said the work would start in training. Instead of tactics, Pineda said the team will work on their passion and player techniques.

He also said the focus would be on improving the defense, which has allowed nine goals in the last four games. The group includes two players, right-back Aiden McFadden and goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo, who weren’t on the list at the start of the season but are now due to injuries to many of the players ahead of them on the roster. depths. The other starting full-back is Caleb Wiley, 17, who is also learning on the job.

“We have a group of kids who do everything I ask, they do their best,” Pineda said. “And that’s what I want to inspire the whole team to do every day: the best, the best… I’m pretty sure the next game will be very, very different.”

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Atlanta United 2022 MLS Schedule

February 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, DC 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 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at LA Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 in 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

August 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 28 vs. DC United, 4 p.m. UNIV

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 4 in Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

September 10 c. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

September 14 in 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