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Stian Gregersen, Saba Lobjanidze talk Saturday matchup against Columbus


The beginning of the 2024 regular season is just around the corner for Atlanta United.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, the 5-Stripes will take on the Columbus Crew in Columbus at 2:00 p.m. The club is coming off a relatively strong preseason. Four out the five friendlies the club played came on the road. One in Birmingham against Birmingham Legion FC, while the other three happened in Florida. Now they are back in Atlanta and looking towards the start of a new season.

To talk about how preseason went and preview the regular season to come, Saba Lobjanidze and new face Stian Gregersen spoke to local media Tuesday before the first match on Saturday.

Stian Gregersen

Stian Gregersen was just one of many offseason acquisitions that Atlanta United made. The Norwegian defender came from FC Girondins de Bordeaux in France’s Ligue 2, and signed through the 2027 MLS season with an option in 2028.

During Tuesday media, he expressed that though he did not experience the playoff games played against Columbus, the club remembers the games and that the team will be ready.

"I got some clips [of Columbus's playing style], so I have seen some highlights," he said. "But we will prepare this week to see together and analyze to have the perfect match plan."

The perfect plan is not only what the club plans to do on the field but off of it as well. Cementing camaraderie amongst the players is one way to see results on the pitch. With the new faces on the team, Gregersen being one of them, the training period was a bonding experience.

"We used this training camp to get even closer to each other, so it has been very good for me and for the club to be together."

Watch Gregersen's full media session below or on Youtube.

Saba Lobjanidze

Saba Lobjanidze may be a more familiar face to the Atlanta United faithful. Signed back in August of 2023, this is the Georgian's first preseason with Atlanta United.

"It was a great preseason for the team," said Lobjanidze after being asked how he felt preseason went for the club. "We played a few games, and I think the players are fit. We are fresh, and we are ready for Columbus."

Though Columbus is coming off from winning MLS Cup, he expects Atlanta United to bring their A-game on Saturday against the league champs. One of the ways Atlanta hopes to win the coming weekend is depending on the defensive tactics implemented during the preseason.

"We all know Columbus is tough on opponents. That is one of the best teams in MLS; they won last year, so they are the best," he said. "But we are not going for the draw, we are going for the win. We have confidence about that."

Watch Lobjanidze's full media session below or on Youtube.

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