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Tristan Muyumba, Brad Guzan on 'believing in every guy in the locker room'

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After a draw against the Philadelphia Union, the 5-Stripes are back at work to prepare for Saturday’s evening match against FC Cincinnati. Goalkeeper and captain Brad Guzan and midfielder Tristan Muyumba spoke to local media on Tuesday to discuss the draw against Philadelphia and good vibes around the team going into face off against FC Cincinnati.

Tristan Muyumba

With goals from Daniel Rios and Caleb Wiley, Atlanta United tucked away two quick goals in the second half of the match against Philadelphia. But it was a late rally from the Union that reflected in the 2-2.

Midfielder Tristan Muyumba’s play so far has been a positive for the club. His effective ability to strip the ball from opponents on full display since the beginning of the season.

“After the review, we saw some good things,” said Muyumba after being asked about how the club felt about walking away with a draw. “But honestly, we are disappointed about the results. When you lead by two, especially at home, you have to get the three points. But we have to stay positive and keep the good things in mind for the future.”

Several players, and head coach Gonzalo Pineda, have all spoken on managing emotions and keeping positive as the team is dealing with injuries. Players, like homegrown Noah Cobb, have stepped up during this time as the lineup continues to change. Muyumba spoke on the advice he gives to the younger players after a game like the one against Philadelphia.

“Never to take the game for granted,” said Muyumba. “You can lead by two goals, and then can tie the game or score the third goal. Try to be smart when you lead.”

Brad Guzan

As the anchor of the leadership for the squad, veteran keeper Brad Guzan’s calm and confident nature plays a part in the balanced way the team performs. Off to a solid start to the season himself, Guzan stresses that everyone in the room can perform at a high level. Regardless of outside factors or injuries, the team believes they have the depth to succeed.

“Throughout a season, whether it is the international window or it is injuries, I have always said we believe in every guy in the locker room,” said Guzan. “We have all the confidence in the world in anyone who steps on the field for us.”

That conviction in not only himself but also the team around him has carried Guzan through a long and successful career. Guzan has been with Atlanta United since 2017 - the first year of play for the 5-Stripes. Ten years ago, on April 16, 2014, it was announced that Atlanta would join MLS as the 22nd franchise.

“In soccer, you never say never. You never know what is around the corner,” said Guzan after being asked if he ever saw himself in Atlanta all those years ago. “When you see that the city of Atlanta has been awarded a franchise, and you have the backing of someone like Arthur Blank, you know things are looking up, for the city and the league.”

Guzan said that Atlanta United always wants to “push the bar” as a franchise, and this year is no different for them. The team looks to continue their solid start at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

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