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May 3, 2024 6:44 pm

Atlanta United faces Loons hoping to put winless month behind them

caleb wiley

After going winless for the month of April, Atlanta United will begin a hectic stretch of five matches in a two-week span when they host Minnesota United on Saturday night.

Atlanta (3-3-3, 12 points) comes in off a 0-0 draw at the Chicago Fire last Saturday, capping a 0-1-3 April that included a 2-1 home loss to FC Cincinnati and road draws at the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC. The team’s last victory came on March 31 against Chicago, 3-0.

Now Atlanta, which is tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference, starts a stretch that includes four MLS matches along with a U.S. Open Cup contest with Charlotte Independence on Tuesday over the next 15 days, concluding with a difficult road back-to-back at Cincinnati and Nashville SC.

“It starts off with winning this weekend and getting the momentum going,” said defender Caleb Wiley, who has a goal and an assist this season. “We will try to go game by game. The recovering is (going to be) important.”

Minnesota (5-2-2, 17 points) is tied for third in the Western Conference and brings in a two-match win streak. The Loons, who are an impressive 3-1-0 on the road, defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 last Saturday in Saint Paul, Minn., six days after a 3-0 win at Charlotte FC.

“I think we’ve been executing our game plans very well, and have been adaptable and switching formations and the way we play,” Loons goaltender Dayne St. Clair said. “I think it has been a real commitment from everyone.”

St. Clair has two clean sheets so far this season while forward Tani Oluwaseyi leads the team with four goals, including three in the last four matches. Finnish national Robin Lod leads the team in scoring with 10 points (three goals, seven assists).

This is the first meeting in five years between the two teams with Atlanta holding a 4-1-0 series edge.

“Atlanta is not an easy place to go play on the turf and obviously gets good crowds as well,” St. Clair said. “We know that they’re going to be desperate for a win as well.”

–Field Level Media

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