Atlanta United found their way back to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday in
Christian Ronaldo Cisneros’ hat-trick in the first half, which happens to be the second-fastest hat-trick in club history (34 minutes), and Brooks Lennon’s late goal. The result ends a winless streak for Atlanta United that dates back to the loss to Charlotte FC on April 10.
Although he picked up a much-needed win, Miles Robinson’s injury that forced him to be stretched is the main focus. There are several reasons why the injury is a blow to Miles as an individual and from the perspective of Gonzalo Pineda and the team. Miles is the latest name added to the injury list in a season in which injuries are seemingly season defining.
“I have never seen anything so serious in terms of injuries. I had a few years, either as a player or a coach in Seattle, where we also had a few long-term injuries, but nothing like that,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said. “Especially not in the first ten games of the season. We checked everything from Brad’s injury, from Ozzies’ injury, even Dylan’s Achilles tendon. Sometimes you’re just bad luck and we have to try to find a solution, I think it’s definitely bad luck.
Even though the injured list will see the name of Miles Robinson added for a duration yet to be determined, there is a game and goals that we need to address.
Gonzalo Pineda launched the same starting XI he did last time out against CF Montreal, marking the first time this season he has been able to name the same 11 players two games in a row. With Miles’ injury, that streak will reset next time.
Cisneros opened the scoring in the third minute with a flare shot after Atlanta United tiki-taka headed for Chicago’s goal.
Then Chicago found the equalizer on a free kick (even though Atlanta United goalie Bobby Shuttleworth hit the ball and the Fire recycled it for that goal, I think it’s still a goal on a free kick). Former Liverpool FC striker Xherdan Shaqiri took advantage of Atlanta United’s failure to shut him down to set up Chinoso Offor for the Fire’s only goal of the game.
Cisneros restored the lead to Atlanta United in the 27th minute. This goal wasn’t as pretty as the first, but it’s an example of the good positional play that a striker needs to score goals inside the penalty area.
Cisneros completed his hat trick with an individual game to beat Gabriel Slonina’s style Fernando Torres. The goal also means Thiago Almada now has his first Major League Soccer assist.
“[It’s] more of a message to the fans that as long as I’m here, it’s short or long, I’m going to give my best,” Cisneros said. “Sometimes football is also a matter of luck. So my teammates in previous games tried to find me with some of these longer balls and today I was able to find them and we were able to take advantage of them.
Brooks Lennon ended the game with a left-footed shot in the 91st minute.
Atlanta United took 16 shots and amassed 1.86 xG while retaining 61.2% of possession. 13 of those shots were fired inside the Fire penalty area.
Atlanta United travel to Nashville, Tennessee to take on Nashville SC in the US Open Cup at the newly opened GEODIS Park on Wednesday.