Atlanta United FC has parted ways with Frank De Boer as manager, the MLS club announced Friday.
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The team did not immediately announce a replacement for the Dutchman, adding it will name an interim coach in the meantime.
“On behalf of Atlanta United, I would like to thank Frank for his leadership and commitment to the club,” said Atlanta United President Darren Eales. “Under Frank’s guidance, the club had a strong 2019 season in both MLS and international competition. After discussing it with Frank, the decision was reached mutually to part ways. In winning two trophies in his first season in charge, he will always be a part of the club’s history, and with great appreciation and respect we wish him all the best in the future.”
De Boer was the franchise’s second coach, replacing Gerardo “Tata” Martino after the Argentine won the 2018 MLS Cup and subsquently took the Mexico national team gig.
Under De Boer, the team overcame an initial rocky start to win the 2019 U.S. Open Cup and the 2019 Campeones Cup.
De Boer and Atlanta won their first two matches of the 2020 regular season prior to its postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the opener was marred when 2018 MLS MVP Josef Martinez, one of the league’s most dynamic scorers, went down with a knee injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of 2020.
When play resumed at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Atlanta lost all three of its group games by 1-0 scores. With De Boer facing heavy criticism for his team’s lack of creativity, and calls for a radical change in style, the team decided to make a change.
It was another short coaching stint for the former Netherlands national team star, who previously was let go by Internazionale in Italy’s Serie A in 2016 and Crystal Palace in England’s Premier League in 2017.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had with Atlanta United,” De Boer said. “Coaching in Major League Soccer and living in Atlanta has been a wonderful experience and a welcome new challenge. I will never forget the incredible supporters here in Atlanta, they are truly special. I want to thank the players, coaches and staff for all of their support, it has been my pleasure to work with all of you.”
De Boer’s most successful spell as a coach was while in charge of Ajax Amsterdam, where he won four Eredivisie league titles from 2010-16. His playing career also included lengthy stints at Ajax and Barcelona.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.