Atlanta United knew how crucial the Sporting KC match would be as they kicked off a grueling month with seven matches in May. With the pressure on as they try to climb the standings, the team not only snagged the win in Kansas City, but did so in vintage Atlanta United fashion.
“[It was our] most complete performance,” said Brad Guzan after the 3-0 win. “From start to finish, I thought we were excellent. We were patient. We didn’t turn the ball over easily. We didn’t try to force passes.”
“I think we dominated in every aspect today,” added head coach Frank de Boer. “We created our chances, we almost gave nothing away, we were confident on the ball – this is what you want to see of course from our team.”
Gaining that confidence and performing well was key. But with Atlanta United eager to get back into contention in the Eastern Conference, getting the win was just as important.
“We needed this win. It feels good,” Ezequiel Barco responded when asked his thoughts on the match. Barco hammered in one of three goals on the night, sandwiched between two from Josef Martinez. “You’re seeing the work we put in week in and week out. Fortunately, we got three points and we just have to keep going in that direction.”
But while the win was sweet, the team is keeping the perspective that this was only one match, and their work has just begun. Going forward, the team looks to prepare for their next matches as they head into a 4-week, 7-match stretch.
“When you play a lot of games like this back to back in a row it’s important to get off to a good start” Brad Guzan said about these upcoming matches. “But, also for the confidence going into the other games, when you play well as we did tonight, you’re ready for the next one.“
“It’s crucial to have these kind of moments to boost [yourself], especially against a very good team,” De Boer added. “We are now into a long stretch to play games and it’s crucial to start well, to get the confidence for that period. I think this is going to give a lot of confidence for the guys.”
Atlanta United returns home for back-to-back matches this week at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The first this Wednesday against Toronto FC and again on Sunday for a Mother’s Day matchup against Orlando City. Tickets for both matches are still available for purchase here.