Atlanta United ready to end road stretch


It hasn’t been the best week for Atlanta United, but at least after Saturday’s game at Real Salt Lake things could potentially get slightly better.

Within the past seven days the team lost to Montreal 2-1 on a goal in the final seconds. The team also saw Leandro Gonzalez Pirez receive a questionable red card late in the first half, which reduced the MLS expansion team to 10 men for the second half.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the team won’t get to play in the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium until September, a delay of six months from the original timeline.

But things are starting to improve. Pirez’s red card was rescinded by the league Wednesday, and any negative feelings may be wiped out if the team can earn three points — bringing its total to a respectable five from a possible 12 during the four-game road stretch — at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“We have been doing good so far, but it’s time to win away,” midfielder Kevin Kratz said.

Manager Gerardo Martino thought his team was playing its best in the three-game stretch at Montreal until the red card changed everything.

“We aren’t worried about that. We haven’t won yet on this road trip,” captain Michael Parkhurst said. “We knew it was a tough road trip, and we’ve faced some tough circumstances. We’ve had the right mentality. We had a good game plan going into Montreal. The game changes with that call. Still unlucky not to get out of there with that point.

“We expect to win again in Salt Lake. Going out there with the mindset to take three points. That would be a good end to this road trip.”

It won’t be easy. Real Salt Lake is 2-0 since Mike Petke began roaming the sidelines as the team’s second coach this season. But Atlanta United will have back not only Pirez and fullback Tyrone Mears, who missed last week’s game with an injury, but also midfielder Yamil Asad, who sat out the game at Montreal because of another questionable red card received in the previous 2-2 draw at Toronto.

Though most of the players on the team said they’ve never experienced this many consecutive road games, they won’t complain because it wasn’t a surprise.

“We’ve done it three weeks consecutively now,” forward Kenwyne Jones said. “Another week, another day, another dollar.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Status of Oregon’s Royce Freeman, Tyrell Crosby uncertain for Las Vegas Bowl
Status of Oregon’s Royce Freeman, Tyrell Crosby uncertain for Las Vegas Bowl

Oregon experienced a healthy rebound when sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert returned in the final quarter of the season. The Ducks might not be able to say the same about 2 key seniors ahead of their appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl. Running back Royce Freeman and tackle Tyrell Crosby have yet to decide whether they’ll participate...
Lovie Smith: Hurdles Herm Edwards faces at Arizona State are inflated
Lovie Smith: Hurdles Herm Edwards faces at Arizona State are inflated

Lovie Smith is already doing what Herm Edwards has set out to accomplish at Arizona State — sort of. The fellow former NFL head coach is leading an attempted turnaround of the University of Illinois’ football program. He’s 2 seasons into it, and has just 5 wins to show for it. But even as his record struggles to rebound...
LSU hiring Chargers assistant coach James Cregg for offensive line
LSU hiring Chargers assistant coach James Cregg for offensive line

BATON ROUGE, La. — You can’t claim that LSU coach Ed Orgeron is unprepared. Less than an hour after news broke that Tigers offensive line coach Jeff Grimes was leaving to fill the offensive coordinator role at Brigham Young, news leaked that his replacement had already been found. SEC Country confirmed through an LSU source...
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is back, but not to save the season
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is back, but not to save the season

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is returning to the field on Sunday against the 9-4 Carolina Panthers, but he doesn’t want to be looked at as a knight in shining armor. The Packers are 7-6, and if they go undefeated they will have a strong chance to make the playoffs. Rodgers has been out for the last eight...
Nebraska walk-on event ‘everything and more’ for defensive end Ryan Schommer
Nebraska walk-on event ‘everything and more’ for defensive end Ryan Schommer

More Stories