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Atlanta United and Frank De Boer “mutually agree to part ways”

The Frank De Boer era at Atlanta United is over.

Atlanta United announced on Friday afternoon that it has “mutually” agreed to part ways with De Boer. The decision comes in the aftermath of the team’s poor performance and early elimination at the MLS is Back Tournament, which saw Atlanta United go 0-3 in the group stage with zero goals scored.

The search for a permanent replacement will begin shortly, and an interim head coach is expected to be named soon.

“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 in a written statement released by the team. “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.”

Hired just 19 months ago to succeed Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, De Boer struggled to live up to Atlanta United’s high standards. He won one trophy in 2019 via the capture of the U.S. Open Cup, but was not able to guide the club back to the MLS Cup Final.

The Dutchman got Atlanta United off to a 2-0 start during the 2020 season prior to the pandemic shutdown, but went winless at the MLS is Back Tournament. In total, he finished with a record of 20-15-4 in regular season play.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had with Atlanta United,” said de Boer in the same written statement. “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 is not the only member of the technical staff that is leaving Atlanta. Assistant coaches Orlando Trustfull and Bob de Klerk and video analyst Erwin Koenis are also departing.


  1. The divorce was inevitable. Might as well do it now. De Boer didn’t embarrass himself in his time here, but he clearly wasn’t the way forward in either the short or long term. ATL has a pretty big decision about how to replace.

  2. FdB took a dynamic, exciting team and, through his insistence on his style, turned The Atl United product into a boring, ineffective team. Whether or not deBoer can coach the fit was obviously a failure and kudos to Atl management for recognizing this and moving on sooner than later.

  3. I agree, GP with some of your post, except for the GM sentence. Darren Eales has got Jurgen Damm – winger (Gressel) coming thru in the fall. He brought back Walkes Fullback (Shea, Ambrose). Jahn & Rosetto CF/9 (Brandon Vasquez, injured Martinez). Lennon winger (Gressel), 2x I know, big shoes on the German. Mo Adams replaces Nagbe. Miles Robinson full time starter (Parkhurst), George Campbell & Bello are academy players @ CB & LB. That’s just for ‘20 season. I know, I’m missing some other players. Don’t let me get on ‘19 season moves. Eales & Bocanegra are a great team!! I’m on OCSC fan, but I get a chance to enjoy this sport with my 60- 90 year old family members in Atl, who love the five stripes! So I keep up with the team, without trying.

  4. So, Atlanta’s coach is no more, so is Ben Olsen next? If De Boer can give Atlanta two trophies, and Olsen can get only 1 US Open Trophy and is still be “coach” of DC United, either the DC United owners are too cheap to hire a valid coach, and can’t seem to understand that Olsen has passed that red line of incompetent coach. Olsen was a great player for DC United, but as a coach I do not understand why the owners have been letting him” coach” reins for so long. Hire Etcheberry as the new coach.

  5. I think there are several reasons for him moving on and one of the biggest reasons I believe is his style of coaching which didn’t suit the players that they built Atlanta around with South American talent in mind Which is a big difference in styles when you bring in a European coach that runs his teams completely different.

  6. Not a big surprise. Even with the loss of Josef Martinez, they seem to be under performing. Twellman in his comments has been spot on, IMO. They have lacked spark and compare their performance without Martinez with that of LAFC without Vela. Also, you wonder about the GM since they haven’t done anything to address recent personnel losses.

    • At no point is it ever fair to compare what LAFC has done without Vela vs what AtlU hasn’t done without Josef, they are totally two different squads as LAFC is way deeper than AtlU! I think this firing was premature, especially considering all of the teams are playing and having to deal with really unusual circumstances via COVID-19. The Galaxy have done nothing since Arena left, and as a perennial power in MLS up till the last few seasons they have stuck it out with Schelotto who has done nothing with that franchise. At least FdB brought 2 trophies to Atlanta last year(Supporters Shield ansd Campeones Cup), not a lot of managers can boast that but have kept their jobs and furthermore Eales did nothing to replace the players they lost last season, so who is really at fault here….interesting!

      • I think when you look at the money they spent on Pity and Frank either couldn’t or out and out refused to adapt to his strengths. LAFC does have more depth but when you still have the SA Player of the Year, Barco who was one of the best at the U20 WC, Guzan an EPL GK, and Robinson a top US prospect plus several other quality players you should present a better product. Doing it now when you have a couple weeks during the knockout stage to do a search and start some training before what sounds like an 18 match finish to the season.

      • Well, regarding the Galaxy, with whom I am pretty familiar, Schelotto is reportedly on thin ice, too. The first couple of games it wasn’t about the talent available or missing, but about the effort. They have been putrid. Schelotto seemed like a good hire and as well as he did in S. America, you figure he hadn’t forgotten how to coach. But, looking at the results on the field, you have to wonder and it wouldn’t bother me if he were sacked. At least last night they showed some fight and they should have won. A very curious lack of response by the BK Bingham that allowed the Houston goal and then they should have won in the last few minutes, but tired legs let them down. That will probably allow Schelotto to keep his job for now. Soccer is all about results, and de Boer didn’t do good enough. As to the GM, Ronniet and Ok 2 Think can fight that out.As someone who enjoyed watching Atlanta under Tata, they just haven’t been the same since he left, even with J Martinez. BTW, LAFC has a much smaller stadium than Atlanta (less revenue) and Atlanta has been playing in the league a year longer, so if a team isn’t as deep as LAFC, it’s because LAFC has done a better job.

    • Both teams did an amazing job of setting up their initial rosters. The issue I see is ATL’s players didn’t seem to match FDB’s style. Pity definitely didn’t I’m not sure Barco has gotten any better either. Rumor is they are looking back to South America for their next manager. We’ll see how LAFC is able to replace Rossi, Atuesta and others as they move on.


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