Mon, 30 Nov 2020

Atlanta United look to start playoff push vs. D.C. United

Field Level Media
24 Oct 2020, 05:40 GMT+10

While D.C. United finally find themselves amid a much-needed positive spurt, Atlanta United are desperately in need of a victory.

Looking to build on their first victory in more than 1 1/2 months, visiting D.C. United will try to extend Atlanta's winless stretch to five games on Saturday.

D.C. United (3-10-6, 15 points) still sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference but earned four points from their last two games. More importantly, the club ended an 0-6-3 rut with Sunday's 2-1 road win over FC Cincinnati.

Defender Donovan Pines scored in the first half, his second of the season, and Chris Odoi-Atsem delivered his first career MLS goal to break a 1-1 tie in the 78th minute and help the team earn its first victory since Sept. 2.

"To be rewarded puts us in a good place mentally, helps us move forward, helps us believe in what we are doing, that we are doing the right things," D.C. United interim head coach Chad Ashton said.

As D.C. looks to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, it also aims to avenge an ugly 4-0 home loss to Atlanta on Oct. 3. Jon Gallagher had two goals while Brooks Lennon had a goal with two assists as Atlanta (5-10-4, 19 points) posted its highest goal total of 2020.

Atlanta United, though, have managed just one goal while going 0-2-2 since that triumph. They fell 1-0 to Toronto FC on Sunday and sit just outside of playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

"It's our job to regroup and get ready (to face D.C. United)," veteran Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. "That's the only way. In terms of how do we change, whether you want to say bad luck or what not, change the results, you need to work harder."

--Field Level Media

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