You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

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 Pirez’s red card was rescinded by the league Wednesday, and any negative feelings may be wiped out if the team can earn three points — bringing its total to a respectable five from a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

Hawks trade Kelly to Rockets for cash
Hawks trade Kelly to Rockets for cash

The Hawks traded forward Ryan Kelly to the Rockets for cash considerations on Wednesday. The deal was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly did two stints with the Hawks last season. He has a non-guaranteed contract for $1.6 million next season. If the Rockets release Kelly before June 30, it’s possible he could be back with...
Falcons offensive line ranked sixth-best for 2017
Falcons offensive line ranked sixth-best for 2017

Rookie Sean Harlow will get a chance to win the right guard spot. Curtis Compton/ Pro Football Focus ranked the Falcons’ line as the sixth-best unit in 2016. The Falcons return four starters along the offensive line with the weakest link, right guard Chris Chester, off to retirement. That opens up the possibility that the unit...
Pro Football Focus: Falcons’ roster is now the NFL’s best
Pro Football Focus: Falcons’ roster is now the NFL’s best

He’s No. 2. His team’s No. 1. (Curtis Compton/AJC) Two years ago, Pro Football Focus ranked the Atlanta Falcons’ roster the NFL’s 31st-best.
John McEnroe: Serena Williams comments ‘didn’t go over big with my daughters’
John McEnroe: Serena Williams comments ‘didn’t go over big with my daughters’

Anna, Ava and Emily McEnroe were not pleased with their father’s comments regarding Serena Williams this week.  In an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday night, McEnroe revealed his daughters have given him some grief over saying the 23-time Grand Slam winner would be ranked “like No. 700&rdquo...
COVER 9@9: How will the Falcons ‘Brotherhood’ celebrate?
COVER 9@9: How will the Falcons ‘Brotherhood’ celebrate?

FEBRUARY 5, 2017 HOUSTON TX Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) celebrates an interception run back for touchdown as the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Sunday, February 5, 2017.
More Stories