ATLANTA — Following an underwhelming 2022 campaign filled with injuries, Atlanta United returned to the pitch this week for pre-season training ahead of their first game in February.
Friday marked the first day the media was allowed to view practice and a lot of the conversation surrounded the attendance of who was actually on the pitch.
Most notably, long-time forward Josef Martinez was not practicing with the rest of the team.
Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda said he is training away from the team to avoid any injuries ahead of a potential trade.
The rest of the team is continuing their preparation for the year knowing things could be changing soon.
"We know what Josef means to this club. We know what Josef means to this fans base," goalkeeper Brad Guzon said. "Until something is 'official,' we'll carry on and go about our work in a way that hopefully makes us better."
Friday's practice was a positive day for both Guzon and defender Miles Robinson who are back with the team while they continue to work their way back from Achilles injuries they both suffered last season.
"It was nice to have someone going through the same thing and just talking," said Guzon.
Both players are still being monitored at training to make sure they are on track to be ready for the season opener next month.