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How I learned to stop worrying and accept that Atlanta United might not be very good

Hello darkness, my old friend.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at CF Montreal Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Remember a few weeks ago when I said it was probably time for Atlanta United fans to start panicking and had [redacted user name] in the comments spouting the usual ‘DSS OVERREACTION’ nonsense? Well, it was time to panic. It’s also time to admit that this team is not very good and teetering on the line of being bad.

It’s not worth repeating the same narrative of dominating possession, failing to convert chances, and being bad at defending set pieces. It’s the same story over and over and there’s really only so many ways to talk about it.

So let’s talk about why the team is not very good at soccer right now.

  • The lack of an impactful focal point in the attack is hindering the team’s ability to produce an end product. Planning heavily around Josef Martinez to return to full-strength has bitten the team in the rear-end and now they are once again scrambling to figure out a solution.
  • For some reason, the team is completely and utterly soft when it comes to defending in their own box. They constantly get bullied by other teams in the danger area. This results in set piece and bundle goals that are a confidence killer for all.
  • Losing Ozzie Alonso seems to have ripped out the soul of the team. While the talent remains, that heart and fighter instinct seems to have evaporated in an instant. While it’s a bit presumptuous to pin this all to Ozzie’s injury, the timing seems to line up perfectly. The depth in the midfield is there from a talent perspective, but it just feels like something is missing from an intangible perspective.
  • Thiago Almada, Marcelo Moreno and Luiz Araujo are all extremely talented players on their own. But jammed into the same lineup they occupy similar roles and offer very little variation in attack. A lot of the times they all want to operate in the same spaces, leaving the others just standing around aimlessly watching the play develop. This is a result of poor roster construction and planning.

These are just some of the issues that currently present themselves. The season isn’t over. There’s plenty of time for Gonzalo Pineda to figure things out. But right now, it’s not a pretty picture to look at. Feel free to get mad at me for being negative in the comments or air your own grievances.