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“We need to roll up our sleeves and be fucking men about this”

“Once you stop fighting, you can actually focus on beating the opponent,” McCarty said. “And that’s what we’re missing right now.” Because the way we started the match today was unacceptable. And the goal we conceded is unacceptable.

McCarty said the soft goal is typical of what has happened over the past seven matches. A mistake is made and the players lose confidence too quickly. He said MLS was tough. The margins are small. They must be just as tough.

But it wasn’t just the moments leading up to the goal that were unacceptable.

In the best example of what might be missing, Guzan described it as “outrageous” that Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta, 5-foot-3 and by far the shortest player on the field, won two headers.

“These are things that aren’t X’s and O’s,” he said, his voice rising. “These are things where it must hurt more to lose than joy to win. It must hurt. We have to do it, excuse my language, but we have to like roll up our sleeves and be damn men about it.

The problem is, these same problems have been happening for years, regardless of the manager, regardless of the players on the roster, regardless of the competition.

Guzan said he can’t understand why this continues to happen. Guzan said the players believed in manager Gonzalo Pineda. And the injuries to several players, many of them in the same position (central defender, attacker) did not help. The team may have lost attacking midfielder Thiago Almada to a calf injury and forward Giorgos Giakoumakis to a hamstring and possible concussion, both suffered against Cincinnati. The team will play in Nashville on Saturday. But he said everyone in the locker room was responsible for the bad streak.

Guzan said the players had a “conversation” in the locker room after Wednesday’s game.

“We have to draw a line after tonight and the performances have to be better,” Guzan said. “But even the little things that go into a match, that has to be the low point. And we have to look forward, we have to move, and that starts on Saturday.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

February 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

April 27 Atlanta United 1, Chicago 1

May 4 Minnesota 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte Independence 0 in US Open Cup

May 11 DC United 3, Atlanta United 2

May 15 Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United 0

May 18 in Nashville, 1:30 p.m.

May 25 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

May 29 in Miami, 7:30 p.m.

June 2 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FOX

June 15 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

June 19 at DC United, 7:30 p.m.

June 22 in Saint-Louis, 8:30 p.m.

June 29 c. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 13 in Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 against Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 against DC United in the League Cup, 7:30 p.m.

August 4 against Santos Laguna in the League Cup, 4 p.m.

August 24 at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

August 31 in Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

September 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

September 18 against Miami, 7:30 p.m.

September 21 at the Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

September 28 in Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

October 2 c. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

October 5 against Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

October 19 in Orlando, 6 p.m.