De Boer out as Atlanta United coach after dismal restart

ATLANTA (AP) — Frank de Boer is out as coach of Atlanta United.

After a dismal performance in the MLS Is Back tournament, the team stunningly announced Friday that it had mutually agreed to part with de Boer, who nearly guided the team to the MLS Cup championship game a season ago.

It was another short coaching stint for the former Dutch national team star, who previously was let go by Inter Milan in Italy’s Serie A in 2016 and Crystal Palace in England’s Premier League in 2017.

De Boer endured an up-and-down season in his first year with Atlanta, but the team won both the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup before making a strong run at defending its MLS Cup title. United lost at home to Toronto in the Eastern Conference final.

United won its first two games this season before play was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the opener was marred when 2018 league 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 with the tournament in Orlando, Atlanta United 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.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com

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