ATL UTD players preparing for “unique” threat against New England

With Atlanta United’s historic debut victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the rearview mirror, the players are already looking ahead to their next opponent on Wednesday. Despite the quick turnaround, the players say they’re feeling ready for the challenge.

“I think we’re ready,” captain Michael Parkhurst told the media after training Tuesday. “We have a lot of young guys on this team that can bounce back quickly. It’s a lot easier to recover coming off a 3-0 win than any other result.”

“The training staff has done everything that we can yesterday and today to make sure the guys recover as well as they can,” head coach Tata Martino added, through a translator. “I think it’s a little premature to be worried about recovery. With that said, they’ve done everything they can to recover as fast as possible.”

Next up is the New England Revolution, a team that has struggled away from home but poses a unique threat to the Atlanta defense nonetheless.

“I’m not sure there’s really another team in the league that plays the way they play,” midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said. “They have good players in the air and good players with their feet. So it’s a difficult team because when they attack they can come at you in a lot of different ways.”

“They’re a big physical team,” Parkhurst added. “They’re not a team that tends to get a lot of crosses in, but when they do, Kei (Kamara) is the best player in the league at getting on the end of it. He’s a difficult ask in the box, we have to try to keep them out of the box as much as possible. Keep an eye on Lee Nguyen, he really is the playmaker for them.”

The Revolution are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but a recent run of good form has New England fans eyeing a comeback postseason berth. Atlanta’s players know a team fighting for their playoff life can pose an extra challenge.

“I’ve seen in MLS where anything can happen over the last few weeks and it usually does,” Larentowicz said. “So for us it’s just about us getting points, recouping the games in hand with wins and moving ourselves up the table.”

Coach Martino wasn’t in the mood to give hints about his starting lineup, but did say he expects to stick largely with what works after what he called the team’s best performance of the city against Dallas Sunday.

“I think we managed all the situations of the game that a team has to manage,” he said. “We were intense to recover the ball, we circulated it well when we had the ball, we knew when to press high and when to fall back, so I thought we did everything well. We managed every phase of the game that we had to.”

Coach Martino will be hoping for more of the same Wednesday, with the two teams facing off at 7:00 p.m. from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The games are coming fast and tickets are selling quickly, so make sure you reserve your spot to cheer the team on in their new home by getting your tickets here.