Is it a good thing to have a match so quickly after a tough loss like that?
“What I’ve always experienced after a loss is the next day is the best day and show everyone that result wasn’t right from the club’s standpoint.”
Those are the responses Julian Gressel, Michael Parkhurst and Frank de Boer respectively gave to the above question during media availability on Friday morning. That should let one know how ready Atlanta United is to forget about the 5-1 drubbing they received from the Chicago Fire last Wednesday.
“It was very disappointing in every aspect,” De Boer said. “It was a collectively off day and many mistakes were made. It was quite embarrassing what we showed in those first few minutes...We have to understand that this cannot happen again.”
Those firm but fair words from Atlanta’s head coach come off the heels of the club’s worst defensive effort in their history as it marked the first time United conceded five goals in a match. To add insult to injury, Atlanta now owns a share of the record for most goals conceded in one MLS half with Real Salt Lake.
Gressel, who chooses to look on the brighter side, believes this could be yet another catalyst for a run of good results similar to the previous campaign.
“We’ve been in this situation before,” Gressel said. “One game that comes to mind is the first game of the season last year against Houston. After that, we won seven of our next eight games and had a great season.”
That 4-0 loss to Houston is a good comparison considering all four goals conceded came in the first half, a similar capitulation to what happened in Chicago midweek.
Regardless of what motivates players to stop a similar result from happening again, de Boer says the overall mentality of the team must improve, especially as they prepare to host a New York Red Bulls that historically gives Atlanta the fits in front of an expected crowd of roughly 70,000 this weekend, not to mention a huge television audience tuning in on Fox after the Women’s World Cup Final.
“It’s only three points, but it’s how you lose those three points,” de Boer said. “We gave those goals away (against Chicago). What we show at home a lot of times we don’t show in away games. That’s the good thing about playing in a league with so many games though is you can recover from that. We hope to do so on Sunday against the Red Bulls.”