Atlanta United suffered yet another defeat on Saturday night, losing 3-1 to Charlotte FC to make it the fourth consecutive loss in all competitions.
Another week, another former player scoring against Atlanta United. Just one week after Five Stripes legend Josef Martinez scored twice against his former club, veteran forward Justin Meram also scored a brace against his old club to lift Charlotte FC to victory over Atlanta.
Pineda’s side had two early chances in the opening minutes. But after that, it was all Charlotte FC. The defeat to I-85 rivals was the first home defeat of the season for Atlanta.
The Eastern Conference team’s solid start to the season propelled them to fourth in the East. However, they are also just three points from being out of a playoff spot and have not won since April 23 when they defeated Chicago Fire 2-1.
“I feel like we are not at the level of intensity we need on and off the ball…we need to fix that first and then correct some other [areas]. They have to see what we need to do better. We already talked, and I expect better next time,” Pineda said.
“It feels like the opponent wanted it a little bit more than us these last two games. They need to realize that every point at home is very valuable. We need to win at home every time, but we need to start with our mentality.”
New Designated Player Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has five goals this season in eight games, stated that they have to do better for their supporters as roughly 43,000 fans witnessed the 3-1 drubbing Saturday night.
“We said today that if we keep losing, if we keep dropping points, the fans will disappear and they will be right. We bring the fans to the stadium and we send them away.”
Atlanta will have a chance to get back in the win column when they host the Colorado Rapids Wednesday night. But things will be a little ticky with at the left-back position with Caleb Wiley heading to the U-20 World Cup and Andrew Gutman not available after being shown a straight red card Saturday night.
“I have a great squad. I have no questions about my team, no doubts,” Pineda added. “They have to understand that we all need to be better. We just need to try to be more consistent throughout the 90 minutes in terms of intensity. … When I talk about intensity, it’s the first thing we need to correct.”