Atlanta United got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday through
Cristiano Ronaldo Cisneros’ first half hat trick, which happens to be the second fastest hat trick in the club’s history (34 minutes), and Brooks Lennon’s late goal. The result ends a winless streak for Atlanta United that extends back to the loss against Charlotte FC on April 10th.
Despite earning a much needed win, the injury to Miles Robinson that forced him to be stretchered off is the main focus. There are many reasons why the injury is a blow to Miles as an individual and from Gonzalo Pineda’s and the team’s point of view. Miles is the latest name added to the injury list during a season in which injuries are seemingly defining the season.
“I’ve never seen something this bad in terms of injuries. I’ve had some years, whether as a player or a coach in Seattle, where we had a couple long term injuries as well, but nothing like this,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said. “Especially not in the first ten games of the season. We have checked for everything since Brad’s injury, since Ozzies’ injury, even Dylan’s achilles. At times, you’re just bad luck and we have to try to find a solution,I I think it’s certainly bad luck.”
Even though the injury list will see Miles Robinson’s name added to it for an amount of time that is to be determined, there’s a game and goals that we need to address.
Gonzalo Pineda rolled out the same starting XI he did last time out against CF Montreal, marking the first time this season he’s been able to name the same 11 players two games in a row. With Miles’ injury, that streak is going to reset next time out.
Today's Starting XI to take on @ChicagoFire pic.twitter.com/esraMMRu0d— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) May 7, 2022
Cisneros opened the scoring in the third minute with a rocket of shot after Atlanta United tiki-taka’d their way to the Chicago goal.
RONALDO.— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) May 7, 2022
1-0 @ATLUTD.#UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/BVPgI2KkDX
Then Chicago found the equalizer off a set piece (even though Atlanta United goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth punched the ball away and the Fire recycled it for this goal, I think it’s still a set piece goal). Former Liverpool F.C. attacker Xherdan Shaqiri took advantage of Atlanta United not closing him down to set up Chinoso Offor for the Fire’s only goal of the game.
LEVEL 1-1— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 7, 2022
Shaqiri finds Chinonso Offor for the equalizer. pic.twitter.com/0XiJ0cbYPb
Cisneros restored the lead for Atlanta United in the 27th minute. This goal wasn’t as beautiful as the first one, but it’s an example of good positional play that a striker needs to score goals in the penalty area.
Two for @ATLUTD, two for @RonaldoCM97. ✌️ pic.twitter.com/wt5OIy7vfR— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 7, 2022
Cisneros finished off his hat trick with an individual play to beat Gabriel Slonina Fernando Torres style. The goal also means that Thiago Almada now has his first assist in Major League Soccer.
FIRST HALF HAT TRICK@RonaldoCM97 is running wild out there. pic.twitter.com/NW6OYLBiK4— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 7, 2022
“[It’s] more a message to the fans that, for however long I’m here, it’s a short or a long time, I’m going to give my best,” Cisneros said. “Sometimes, football is about luck also. So my teammates in the past games have been trying to find me with some of those longer balls and today I was able to find them and we were able to take advantage.”
Brooks Lennon rounded off the game with a left footed shot in the 91st minute.
.@brookslennon puts it away in stoppage time and @ATLUTD will take all three points! pic.twitter.com/QyiEhRV5CM— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 8, 2022
Atlanta United took 16 shots and amassed 1.86 xG while maintaining 61.2% of the possession. 13 of those shots were taken inside of the Fire’s penalty area.
Atlanta United will travel to Nashville, Tenn. to take on Nashville SC in the U.S. Open Cup at the newly opened GEODIS Park on Wednesday.