Sounders adjusting to new midfield landscape: Atencio discusses challenges and opportunities

Interview: Josh Atencio on adjusting to Albert Rusnak's absence
Interview: Josh Atencio on adjusting to Albert Rusnak's absence / Seattle Sounders FC

In a recent interview, Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Josh Atencio discussed how the team is dealing with the absence of Albert Rusnak due to injury. Atencio, who is partnering with Obed Vargas in the midfield, shared his insights on the difficulties and possibilities of this change.

Adapting to Different Styles: Atencio acknowledged the contrasting playing styles of Rusnak and Vargas. While Rusnak preferred deeper positioning and playmaking, Vargas embraces a more forward-running approach. This shift necessitates increased positional discipline from Atencio and his teammates to maintain a balanced midfield.

Preparing for Austin FC: The Sounders are gearing up for their upcoming clash against Austin FC, a team that shares similarities with their previous opponent. Atencio expressed comfort with the familiarity gained from the recent game. The potential inclusion of Pedro in midfield presents a new variable. While unfamiliar with Pedro's play in the middle, Atencio acknowledges his defensive solidity and attacking prowess.

Atencio's Focus on Improvement:
While reflecting on his own performance, Atencio identified areas for personal growth. He emphasized the need for improved composure in front of goal and a willingness to take more shots. He highlighted positive support and encouragement in this regard from both coaches and teammates.

Looking Ahead: Atencio's interview underscores the ongoing adaptation process within the Sounders' midfield. While navigating the challenges of a revamped lineup, the team appears optimistic about their capabilities and focused on continuous improvement. This blend of tactical adjustments and individual growth paves the way for an exciting journey for the Sounders as they strive for continued success.

Currently ranked 11th in the Western Conference, Seattle Sounders FC will play their first home game of the season on Saturday, March 2nd, at 7:30PM PT. The match will take place at Lumen Field, where the Sounders will face Austin FC.

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