After a stellar come from behind win over Montreal, Atlanta United has shifted their attention to the Chicago Fire. Who is their first opponent in a stretch of three games over the course of eight days. So many games in so few days can be very strenuous on a player’s body, so it is important that the team is preparing their bodies and their minds to handle the amount of game time. Veteran midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is confident that the players will be ready.
“Everyone knows how to take care of their body,” he said. “We’ve all played three game weeks before. Leading up to the first game is when we will have the most time to rest and get your self ready. With the travel involved you just have to take your time and make sure you are ready to go, physically and mentally. The first game is also very important, if you start off well you are given the confidence to carry that momentum over into the rest of the week.”
Forward Tito Vilalba also thinks the team shouldn’t have too much trouble with the quick turnarounds in between games.
“We are used to it from the stretch of games we had last year, playing almost every three days. So we are hopeful that this stretch will go well for us as well.”
This match could prove to be more vital points against another eastern conference playoff hopeful team. Even though Chicago has not gotten off to the best start they still have a very talented roster, with player’s who are capable of breaking teams down.
Defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez thinks the team needs to be weary of these players and not take this team lightly.
“They have very good players in their attack,” he said. “Guys like Katai, and Nikolic, who is the reigning top scorer in MLS, we will need to pay attention to them because they are very dangerous and could hurt us defensively.”
Larentowicz believes it will be a difficult first match of the stretch of three.
“They are always a tough team to play against, especially away from home. Ever since Bastian Schweinsteiger has gotten healthy and moved into the back they’ve been a more solid team. I think if we’re able to get pressure on him, we’ll be able to limit his time on the ball and his ability to start attacks from deep.”