Atlanta United came into Wednesday night’s match against the Colorado Rapids at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a four-match losing streak, but it was hard to tell from the way the team played.

United dominated the match from start to finish en route to a 4-0 victory following goals from Thiago Almada, Luiz Araújo, Tyler Wolff, who came into the game four minutes earlier as a substitute for Araújo and Giorgos Giakoumakis, another second half substitute.

Atlanta United midfielder Derek Etienne Jr performs stepovers as he enters the eighteen yard box during the second half of a Major League Soccer match against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

With the team scoring four goals at home this would have been the best time for Derrick Etienne, Jr. to score his first goal for United. He didn’t, but understands that it’s a long season and opportunities will come.

“Obviously I’m frustrated that I haven’t scored yet, but it’s normal. I just want to build on performances like this,” said Etienne in the locker room following the match. “I felt very dangerous tonight and I just want to continue to do that.”

Atlanta head coach Gonzalo Pineda said of Etienne’s effort Wednesday night, “I’m not worried at all about Derrick, his goals are coming, his assists are coming. I think it was actually a very, very good game for Derrick.”

Etienne played 83 minutes before coming out of the game for Machop Chol. During the match it was evident that his teammates were trying to get the ball down the line to Etienne.

Atlanta United midfielder Luiz Araújo, left, celebrates with Thiago Almada, center, and Derek Etienne Jr, right after scoring a goal during the second half a Major League Soccer match against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“Derrick is doing a great job of attacking that left side, I like that he was a little bit more selfish,” said Pineda who added that Etienne also did a great job on the defensive side of the ball. “When we needed him to defend he was defending very well.”

Etienne says he feels a goal coming. “I know with the quality that’s around me the ball will hit the back of the net and then everything will be fine.”

The vibe in the locker room after the match was jovial, including Etienne who earned his sixth start of the season.

“I don’t think anyone in the locker room is worried about it,” Etienne said. “The guys know what I can do and the more and more I am able to put performances like this together the goals will come eventually.”

What’s next:

Atlanta United will travel to Chicago to face the Fire Saturday, May 20. The last time the teams played United won 2-1. United returns home Wednesday, May 31 to host the New England Revolution.

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...