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Gonzalo Pineda: I think it’s very positive, even though it was a tough game

What a strange evening this one turned into

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Nashville SC Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This one is going to go down as one of the most drunken, off-the-wall matches in Atlanta United’s history. The weather delay, the types of goals scored, the officiating...it all screams “MLS-after-dark.” Regardless, the Five Stripes stole a point in the final moments thanks to a beautifully worked goal by Dom Dwyer, assisted by Brooks Lennon and the wonderkid Thiago Almada. Another injury report looms around the corner, however, as the team’s minutes-leader Andrew Gutman had to be subbed off, but overall it was an acceptable finish to a very tough evening. Now, if Atlanta United can shore up the defense somehow, the Eastern Conference’s parity could allow them a steady run toward the top. Here’s everything Pineda mentioned about the defense, the game, and the team in a very short post-match press conference.

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda

On if this is a draw to build on:

“It has to be. I think it’s very positive, even though it was a tough game. All the delays, all the issues, what happened with Andrew [Gutman]. We had to sub him at half time after that kick I think he received. No call. No foul. I think that this adjusted the shape of the team. But I think the fight, the competitive mentality, I think we were a little bit unorganized at times but with the right mentality, with the right attitude to come back into the game. I think it was a reward for the players’ heart and passion to come back in a tough game. Very difficult game.”

On how the weather delay affected the team

“I think it certainly affects. I can not tell you more us than them, I think it was the same. In that sense, it’s not an excuse for anything. I think it’s just part of the adversity that sometimes you have to face. The good part is that it was even, it was for both sides. It was certainly an issue, but I think it didn’t affect the result of the game.”

On the nature of the goals conceded being self-inflicted

“I think we been struggling with that. We know we need to adjust that. I feel like it’s not from moments where we are organized, it’s more moments where we are not organized and a little bit of ball-watching inside the box. We’ve been talking a lot about that urgency especially inside the boxes on both ends, but I mean, a good way to come back to that is obviously clean up those soft goals we’ve been giving up. But another good way is just attack more and just continue with the attack because every time Thiago [Almada] is on the ball in the attacking half, Marcelino [Moreno], Luiz [Araújo], we look dangerous. We look with some sense of danger in the opposing goal. So we just need to attack more than what we defend and when we defend, always, we need to be more solid.”

On Gutman’s injury

“It was more kind of closer to the hip or the quad, the outside. I don’t know if it was a tackle or if it was due to this warming up when we come back. We are going to make the test and see what’s the prognosis for him.”

On where he thought the team’s disorganization came from

“I think that at some point we tried to make a risk, take some risk, putting two forwards on the front and kind of a back three now. Very definitive with two wingers, Luiz on the left and Brooks [Lennon] on the right. But at times, you can not pass the message as good as we want to and Luiz was inside trying to make something out of that. We didn’t have a proper winger on the left side at times and then we’re broken with only Rossetto or Emerson [Hyndman] at the end as holding center mids and there were gaps. We were willing to just take those risks because we needed to push for the equalizer and eventually the winning goal. We take that risk from the bench.”