One would not have been able to tell at Atlanta United’s training on Wednesday that the club was only four days removed from their worst performance in franchise history. Players were focused, Tata Martino was as energetic as we’ve seen during a training, and the atmosphere was generally positive. It’s safe to say that last week’s performance in Houston isn’t lingering all that much.
“We’ve moved past Houston,” said captain Michael Parkhurst. “We were obviously disappointed. It wasn’t good enough. We need to raise our level of play in all facets of the game, but it’s one game. It’s a good lesson for us. What happened on Saturday, we feel like we can fix pretty easily.”
Julian Gressel believes the past few days have been a good opportunity for reflection.
“This week so far has been about us. After a poor performance, you want to get your rhythm right first before focusing on the other team. When we’re at our best, we’re very tough to beat. Later in the week, we’ll get more into D.C. United, but it’s our quality that needs to come out.”
This early in the season is certainly no time to panic, especially as the club focuses their attention toward D.C. United, a team that Atlanta lost to three times last season. However, Kevin Kratz believes there is no better time to show fans what exactly this team is capable of while their backs are against the wall than the first home match of the season.
“Not only are the fans excited, but the players too. It’s very exciting to go back into Mercedes-Benz Stadium and play in front of our own fans and show them that we are better than what happened last weekend.”
“We don’t need any extra motivation after last year,” said Parkhurst. “We miss that (home) atmosphere. It’s such an awesome thing to play in front of. You can feel the passion and the love. We need them to push us and hopefully we can give them a lot to cheer for.”