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Jul 2, 2024 8:41 pm

On a roll with interim coach, Atlanta United take aim at Revolution

rob valentino

Amidst roster turnover, Atlanta United will try to extend their unbeaten streak when they visit the New England Revolution on Wednesday in Foxborough, Mass.

Atlanta (6-8-6, 24 points) hasn’t lost in four matches (2-0-2) since Rob Valentino became the club’s interim head coach. The Five Stripes amassed this record despite the transfer of striker Giorgos Giakoumakis in June, and now another star player is seemingly on the way out.

Thiago Almada isn’t expected to face New England, as Atlanta is reportedly finalizing a transfer deal with the Eagle Football ownership group. Valentino didn’t comment on the reports, preferring to remain “present in the moment of who’s here.”

“I can’t focus on who’s going away, who’s coming in, because they’re not here,” Valentino said. “So whoever is here and in the building — staff, players, whoever is around us — I’m just committed to them and making us better.”

Almada leads Atlanta United with six goals this season, and Giakoumakis and Jamal Thiare are next with five goals apiece. However, Thiare will be unavailable for the next 2-4 weeks due to a shoulder injury picked up in Atlanta’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC last Saturday.

Luis Abram and Saba Lobjanidze are both back from international duty and could give Atlanta some roster reinforcement.

The Revolution (6-11-1, 19 points) seemed to have gotten a disappointing season on track with a four-match winning streak, but Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Columbus Crew was New England’s largest margin of defeat all season.

Revolution coach Caleb Porter described the loss as “a little bit of a wake-up call,” and feels the Atlanta match is about “resetting that hunger.”

“When you’re winning sometimes, you can slip in the details and get a little casual … If you’re overconfident and you don’t execute, you’re going to get punished,” Porter said.

New England captain Carles Gil missed Saturday’s match due to injury. Emmanuel Boateng also made an early exit Saturday due to an apparent lower-body injury.

In their previous meeting, Atlanta recorded a 4-1 win over New England on March 9.

–Field Level Media

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