Atlanta United’s 3-0 win over FC Dallas Sunday was a historic, memorable night for players and fans alike. But there’s not much time for the Five Stripes to celebrate, with six more matches coming up just in the month of September. While the players were happy to kick off their home stand with a win, they’re fully focused on the task ahead.
“We talked about how it was important to get a good result -- a good positive performance -- in the first game to start things off,” captain Michael Parkhurst said. “We were able to do that so, hopefully, we can just build on it from there.”
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan added, “there is always things you can do better in games (and) situations you can handle differently. Fortunately for us, a clean sheet gives us confidence going into Wednesday and we move on.”
The good news for Atlanta United is seven of their remaining nine matches are at home, where the red, black and gold have been unbeatable of late with six wins and one draw in their last seven matches in the ATL.
“We always try to take control of the game and be the protagonists ourselves,” said defender and Sunday’s opening goal-scorer Leandro González Pirez. “Generally speaking, I think we played really well as a whole performance. We have to just copy this game and this is the path that we have to follow.”
“We know when we play at home we are a dangerous team and we can beat anyone in this league,” Guzan said. “So it was important that this run of home games set the tempo for hopefully what the next games will be like.”
Head Coach Tata Martino called Sunday’s match the team’s best performance of the season, and said he doesn’t anticipate any need to rotate his squad yet.
“I think all the guys finished well,” the manager said through a translator. “With everything that we have coming and the eight games in 23 days, I think the most important is the performance against an opponent that generally we were better than.”
While the fixture congestion can take a toll – both mentally and physically – there are benefits, with the squad eager to get back on the field.
“We are looking forward to playing games,” Parkhurst said. “We have had a crazy schedule since the end of June where we haven’t played a ton of games. We think that if we can get into a rhythm and build off performances, hopefully, we can rattle off a few wins in a row. Gamedays, we will be able to rely on these fans to pick us up.”
The fans will have plenty of opportunity to help power their team into a playoff spot in this crucial home stretch. Next up is the New England Revolution on Wednesday, with a match against Orlando City coming up on Saturday. Make sure you’re there by reserving your tickets here.