“We keep asking you about Barco,” the reporter said. “But he keeps producing.”
“Keep asking,” Pineda said, grinning.
It’d be difficult not to mention Ezequiel Barco. The midfielder is on a prolific run, earning a spot on MLS Team of the Week for the sixth time this season. Barco scored a world-class goal against D.C. United on Saturday. It was the second consecutive match that Barco scored from a direct free kick. He also scored one against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.
“That was all him again and the confidence that he has in his abilities,” Pineda said.
The 22-year-old is putting together the best season of his Atlanta United career. He’s already reached career highs in goals (7) and assists (6). His productive run in August landed Barco on Team of the Week three consecutive times.
And from what Pineda has seen, there’s still more Barco can do.
“I think he can still give us more opportunities, because he is super talented and his ceiling super high,” Pineda said.
Barco has proven to be an important playmaker during Atlanta’s seven wins in eight matches. When asked after the D.C. match about his recent form, Barco credited his teammates and coaches. He said they’ve helped him be more comfortable, calm and confident.
“I’m very happy and in a good moment where I’m happy,” Barco said.
George Bello was also recognized by the league on Monday. The Homegrown defender scored his first goal of the season off an assist from midfielder Marcelino Moreno during Saturday’s match. It was Bello’s first time being named to Team of the Week this season and the second time in his career.
Barco and Bello return to action when Atlanta faces Philadelphia on Saturday.