Forget records, travel plus altitude makes next matches for Atlanta United dangerous

John and Hugh
September 14, 2018 - 11:35 am

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Atlanta United will be back in action this weekend as the travel to Colorado for a Saturday afternoon match up against the Rapids.

The club has already clinched a playoff spot but will look to extend their lead in the Supporters' Shield as the NY Red Bulls are nipping at their heals. 

With only three games in six weeks, Atlanta United will have a tough test ahead now with three games in just one week.

"This is a difficult week for us. It's a lot of travel; we're playing at altitude...These are big games ahead on the road swing where Colorado and San Jose are near the bottom of the table in the Western Conference, but they're going to be fighting for the game of their lives out there."

There has been a lot of chatter this week about Atlanta United manager Tata Martino potentially leaving for another club, specifically the Argentine or Colombian federations. Martino denied reports that he spoke with either team to a Colombian Radio station on Tuesday.

Bocanegra said these talks are "pretty normal."

"It's flattering that we've been doing well -- people look at our players, people look at our coaching staff, people look at our executive staff. It's sort of a pat on the back, I guess. We have not been contacted by anybody; I think (Martino) reiterated that in the media the other day... We're not letting that distract us, and we've been having talks, so that will work itself out."

Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe rejoined his teammates back on the practice field this week for the first time since June. Nagbe has been sidelined from a groin injury he sustained in a 1-1 draw with Portland on June 24th. 

"He's been doing well (in practice) for a guy who's never been injured for this amount of time," Bocanegra said. He also mentioned Greg Garza and Franco Escobar getting back into the swing of things."Does (Tata Martino) want to use them in a different tactical formation -- but they should be available."