After three dreadful matches in Orlando and everyone from Atlanta United blaming everything on outside forces out of their control, someone finally admitted that the team’s play isn’t acceptable.
Brad Guzan is the hero of honesty to emerge in this time of need. After the third consecutive 1-0 loss in the MLS is Back is tournament, instead of blaming the playing conditions or luck, Guzan finally spoke some refreshing truth.
There’s not much narrative that needs to be added to these quotes that were provided to us by the team, so I’m just going to put them all down below and let them speak for themselves.
On how to turn things around before the next match
“There’s no magic answer. We have to get back on the training pitch. We have to work harder. At the same time, we need to have some real conversations. Some real conversations, because this is not something that just happened. Three games, six halves of football and we showed up for the last half. The second half was better today. Not nearly good enough for what Atlanta United stands for and the club that we’ve all known this club to be. We have to get back to work. It’s not even close to being good enough.”
On what does the work consist of in the future
“You talk about identity. In these three games and can even go back to the Club America game, that’s not who we are as a club. That’s not what we are about as a team. There’s got to be change. There’s got to be some sort of change on the field. There’s got to be communication, conversations but then there has to be a response to that. It can’t just be talk talk talk, and then we get on the field and do the same thing we’ve been doing. This didn’t just happen in one game. This has happened for four games. It’s not good enough. Not good enough as individuals or as a group. There needs to be change. There needs to be the conversations that take place. There has to be a different product shown on the field.”
On the mood in the locker room following a third consecutive defeat
“Disappointment. Frustration. After the first game we talked about what playing for this club means. When you step on the with an Atlanta United crest on your shirt, you are not just representing this club, your representing the city of Atlanta and all of our fans. We set the bar so high the last couple of years. So to go through what we are going through right now, you can talk about experienced players. There’s also inexperienced players on the field. It’s the role of the experienced ones to help the younger guys along. It’s the role of the younger guys to pick up information quickly and learn on the job so to speak. We have to get better. There is a huge level of frustration and disappointment. This isn’t what Atlanta United is about. It’s not a good feeling in the locker room.”
On if the status of the manager is any distraction to fixing the current issues on pitch
“Regardless of coach, manager, players. In this business, players come and go. Managers come and go. It’s the job of us as players that are here to go out and perform and perform at a certain level. That’s not a question for us as players. That’s obviously for other people. Our job is to take that information on board and try and go and execute what’s been relayed to us as players. I don’t think that question is particularly for us as players. We have to take the information we are receiving and get wins.”
On starting games slow and finishing stronger in second halves
“They are top of the table and winning the game 1-0. We don’t have anything to lose. We are throwing everything forward and of course they weren’t great in the second half. Our previous five halves of football were not good enough whatsoever. Now you play 45 minutes of decent attacking football. That doesn’t make it all of a sudden great. That just raises it from where it was and the bar was low. It was better, but that’s nowhere near where we want to be as a team and as a club. We can talk about it being a better second half. We had two or three decent chances where their goalkeeper made some good saves. Other than that we didn’t cause them loads of problems. We didn’t get behind them. It wasn’t like we were unbelievable and the Atlanta United of old.”