Updated: Jul 28
With our MLS season opener only a few weeks away these are my five goals for the season:
1. To not get injured. Specifically, I want us to sustain 2 or less major injuries this season ( I consider an injury major when the player is out for two months or more) and at a max four minor injuries. We had a lot of trouble with injuries last year, and I am just hoping our run of bad luck doesn’t continue. I know Pineda has said many times that he believes in our medical and training staff, and maybe it was just bad luck, but I still would like to see a little bit more focus on rotating players and stretching to be careful about injuries.
2. I would be ecstatic if we make the eastern conference finals, that being said, I would be very content with if we can just make it past the first round. We need to get back to where we deserve to be and start consistently making the playoffs, and hopefully making some runs deep into the cup.
3. I am super excited about the new leagues cup-of course we had to have Josef in our group-and am looking forward to some fun matchups with the Liga MX clubs. I am slightly worried about its effect on player condition as we already have to juggle a lot of competitions and games, but I am hoping that no one gets hurt and that we make it to the round of 16 (second round of the knockouts). On a side note I am looking forward to how the new no-ties point system will workout. I know the world cup governing body will be watching closely as they look to find a solution to group stages in the upcoming world cups.
4. Thiago Almada was the MLS newcomer of the year this past season, and with good reason, he is fast, great on the ball, has incredible vision, and can score. He is a truly incredible 10 and I foresee him having a career trajectory much like Miggy’s, which leads me to my hopeful goal. I, as an Atlanta fan, want him to stay forever, but as a soccer fan I hope that he goes to Europe over the summer.
5. Lastly, I hope that we are top 5 for goals conceded per match. I have major doubts over our fire power and am praying for some reinforcements from the front office, but I do believe that we have what it takes to put together a great defense. Air force Juan is staying, Miles is-hopefully-returning from injury soon, and George Campbell is starting to develop into a really good physical center back. This season was rough and we were 19th with 1.6 goals conceded per match, but I believe we can improve and be in the top 5.