Larentowicz: One goal either way can change everything

Wendy Adams
November 28, 2018 - 10:01 am

© Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


It was a statement game for Atlanta United against NY Red Bulls in leg one of the Eastern Conference Championships.

United will take a 3-0 lead into leg two on Thursday night in New York. And while the club has a big advantage over Red Bulls, Jeff Larentowicz knows they need to keep their foot firmly on the gas.

"It's really about approaching the game like any other. If we can go out and put them on their heels and defend well when we have to, we're going to be in a good spot. If you park the bus, and just try to defend the whole game, one goal at any point in the game really changes the complexion of the whole thing."

"You got to play the game. You got to defend properly; you've got to attack," Larentowicz continued. "It's one of those games that with one goal, everything can change. You don't just want to sit back and get yourself in a rut especially on the road, especially in front of their fans--and what's on the line."

Atlanta United is also preparing for the conditions outside of the cozy confines of their dome home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. When asked about the potential chilly conditions, Larentowicz didn't seem concerned.

"To be honest, I think it's warmer up there than it is down here right now which is kind of strange. It's supposed to be around 40 degrees tomorrow night for the game so that's not too bad."

The club has been practicing outside in the brisk Atlanta weather that saw 29 degree temperatures on Wednesday morning.

"I think that once you step onto the field, you're not really thinking about the weather. You're focused thinking about what's in front of you. I mean, if we can do it in Minnesota, I think we can do it in New York."

Oh, here's a reminder of the conditions when United played against Minnesota back on March 12, 2017:

© Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports


Leg 1 was a game for the ages. Atlanta United fans have been well over a million strong this season, and the players have always expressed their gratitude for their supporters.

But the Tifo the fans brought in Game 1, Larentowicz and his fellow teammates won't soon forget.

"When we walked in from the bus, you can see the flags sitting in the seats and you're thinking 'uh-oh, this could be good.' And then once we got out there and the National Anthem happened, and everyone was waving the banner, it was really cool."

"I mean it was just--it was this moment you just felt like the city and everybody is just pulling in one direction and it showed on the field. It gave us such a lift."

Well done, Atlanta.

*You can hear Leg 2 of the Eastern Conference Championship between Atlanta United and NY Red Bulls LIVE on 92.9 The Game starting with pregame coverage at 7p.m.