Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda urged the Five Stripes to find a solution to their injury crisis when they host New England Revolution in MLS.
The Five Stripes will look to extend their unbeaten league run at home to 13 games, currently occupying the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta also snapped their four-game losing streak last game with a 4-1 win over Chicago Fire but that victory came at a cost, with numerous stars injured – much to the concern of Pineda.
“I have never seen something this bad,” Pineda said of the injury problems.
“We have a very good sports science department. We measure everything. We reflect on everything we do. I think they do a very, very good job.
“Their standard is very high and obviously, we will check again, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly different to what we’re doing compared to last year or even years before.
“I mean, at times you just have bad luck and we just have to try to find a solution.”
The Revs were held to a frustrating 3-3 draw with Columbus Crew last time out, leaving them 11th in the East, and coach Bruce Arena wants more from his side.
“I don’t know. Help me. You guys obviously know more than I do in all of this stuff. So, you’ll probably give us some suggestions,” Arena quipped at reporters.
“But we need to win games. We should have six wins in the league at this point, and we have three. I think every time we step on the field, we need to win games.
“We’ve gotten better over the last month. We’re getting better, but we have a long way to go. We’re making progress, but you know, we have to put W’s on the board at this point.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Atlanta United – Ronaldo Cisneros
Ronaldo Cisneros has four goals in four MLS starts this season and could be a sure bet to test the Revs defence.
New England Revolution – Carles Gil
2021 MVP Carles Gil has distributed assists in four successive matches in all competitions and was the star of the show with a hat-trick against Cincinnati.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– After failing to win any of the first seven MLS meetings with Atlanta (D2 L5, incl. playoffs), New England won both matches against the Five Stripes last season.
– Atlanta United stretched its MLS home unbeaten run to 12 games with a 4-1 victory over the Fire on Saturday (W8 D4). This run equals the longest regular season home unbeaten streak in Atlanta’s history.
– New England has not won consecutive matches since a three-match winning streak in September. The Revs have already matched their loss total from 2021 (5) and have less than half the number of points this season (11) than they had after 10 games last season (23).
– Brooks Lennon is the driver of the Atlanta offense, as his 29 chances created this season are fourth-most in MLS while he’s attempted 92 crosses, second only to Carles Gil (102).
– Adam Buksa has scored in four straight games, netting headers in all four. Buksa is the second player since 2010 to score a header in four straight MLS games (Josef Martinez – 2018) while his 13 headed goals (incl. playoffs) lead MLS since he joined in 2020.