Ajax legend Frank de Boer has been confirmed as Atlanta United’s next manager. De Boer was linked to the job only recently and appeared as a surprise candidate in recent days.
United have been without an official manager since winning the 2018 MLS Cup with Tata Martino at the helm. Thankfully, Martino’s exit from the club was known well in advance of his actual final days at the club. This gave Darren Eales plenty of time to interview and vet candidates.
“Frank de Boer has a distinguished background, both as manager and player, and we’re ecstatic to welcome him to our club,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “When we began our search, we were determined to find someone who fit all of our criteria. In addition to meeting our club’s core values, Frank’s philosophical views for how to play unequivocally aligns with ours. He also has a proven track record of developing youth players, with many of them going on to star for top European teams. Finally, his multilingual capabilities, including Spanish and English, ensure a smooth transition in the leadership of our club.”
We can’t wait to introduce you in person, Atlanta— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) December 23, 2018
A message from the new coach! pic.twitter.com/lURl84q0Wq
“The club’s sportive ambitions, as set out in a long-term strategy to be the best in class, clearly fits my personal ambitions,” de Boer said. “I would like to build on the current success to develop a secure, solid foundation for the club at the top of MLS and beyond. Aside from the club’s ambitions, the values, culture and the philosophy for the entire organization are a vital part in realizing that point of success. This is exactly what I believe in as a person and as a coach. All of this combined, makes that I am really excited to be a part of it.”
De Boer made his name playing as a defender for the Netherlands national team and Ajax. The Dutchman played in two World Cups and dominated for Ajax. His managerial career has consisted of a lengthy six year stint at Ajax before two unsuccessful stops at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace.
“Frank’s style of play was very important to us,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “His tactics feature an attacking, high-intensity style that mirrors our approach to the game. And his track record for player development, of pushing youth players into the First Team, speaks for itself.”
The new boss inherits an MLS Cup-winning side that has retained and grown its deep squad in the offseason. He’ll be expected to succeed right away and has the weapons to do so.