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Atlanta United FC

MLS Atlanta United dumps Heinze as coach after poor start


Washington (AFP) – Argentine manager Gabriel Heinze was fired on Sunday as coach of Atlanta United after only two wins in 13 matches to open the Major League Soccer 2021 campaign.

Assistant coach Rob Valentino will take over as interim head coach for the club, which has four losses and seven drawn to stand 10th in the MLS Eastern Conference.

A variety of issues relating to the day-to-day leadership of the team led to the club’s decision, according to a team statement.

“This was certainly not a decision we wanted to make at this point in our season, but it was the right one for the club,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said.

“Gabi is a talented coach and is undeniably passionate about his craft and the sport of soccer. We are grateful to him for his service and wish him all the best in the future.”

Heinze joined Atlanta United in 2020 after 2 1/2 seasons at Argentine club Velez Sarsfield and following United parting ways with Frank de Boer as coach in July 2020.

Heinze was under fire recently for having star forward Josef Martinez train away from the club.

Atlanta won the MLS crown in 2018 in only its second season as an expansion club.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Eric U. Williams

    July 19, 2021 at 6:58 am

    What are the requirements and foundation principles for developing a sustainable high performance club? I am watching in shock, horror and disbelief as 90% of the highest level and best paid coaches and the entire leadership team, owners and board members at the so called top clubs and national FFs can not adequately give a comprehensive answer to this question. They do not have this information and will not seek to find it beyond the limited club leaders capacity building training available anywhere. Without a well tooled and forcefully implemented Performance Management and Appraisal System they all eventually hit the wall and will remain below the glass ceiling until fired Without any intelligent due process! The deployment of two players to restart the game from a corner, rather than setting up a strike on goal, signifies the absence of common sense at the level of leadership, technical planning, sponsorship and supporters in the stand.

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