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Atlanta United, Carlos Bocanegra agree to contract extension

Big news.

MLS: Atlanta United FC-Press Conference Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Bocanegra will remain Atlanta United’s Vice President and Technical Director for the foreseeable future after it was announced on Monday that he has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with the club.

Hired March of 2015, two full years before the expansion team’s first-ever competitive match, Bocanegra has been around from the virtual ground floor of what has become one of the biggest soccer clubs in North America. During his time in Atlanta he’s been involved in some of the biggest transfers (Almiron, Barco, P. Martinez, Araujo) and some of the biggest trades (Nagbe, Gressel) in MLS history.

“Carlos came to Atlanta United straight from a decorated playing career, and immediately put the same energy and passion that he had on the field into his first front office role,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “Since entering the league in 2017, Atlanta United has established itself as a top MLS club, and Carlos has been an integral part of that success. From building an academy that has already produced USMNT players, to drafting Miles Robinson in our first SuperDraft, to establishing a scouting and recruitment department which has signed players from Josef Martinez to Luiz Araújo, Carlos has worked tirelessly for the good of the club. Therefore, I’m delighted to announce an extension that will allow him to continue to work alongside Gonzalo Pineda in this next exciting chapter of our history.”

One of the most polarizing figures in the club, Bocanegra is the main public focus when the club makes any roster decision. No matter your personal thoughts on his success or failures, the results speak for themselves. In just five full MLS seasons, the club has already brought home three trophies to its cabinet, winning the 2018 MLS Cup, 2019 U.S. Open Cup, and 2019 Campeones Cup.

“I want to thank Arthur Blank, Stephen Cannon and Darren for their continued confidence in me. We built something from scratch that I think we can all be proud of, but collectively we have bigger aspirations for what this club can become,” Bocanegra said. “I also want to recognize the support staff for their dedication and sacrifice to the project and vision that we have for this club. We’re still a young franchise, but the goal is to keep pushing forward and continuing to build upon the foundation that we’ve laid and ultimately establish this club as the premier team on the continent. Finally, I’m really excited about working together with Gonzalo, who shares our strategic vision for this club’s future.”

Bocanegra’s contract was set to expire in the offseason and there was major doubt surrounding his future with the club after it hit a very turbulent patch of on-field and off-field results. Atlanta United have been unable to reach its elite status since the departure of Tata Martino and personnel decisions have been very hit or miss in the last three years. Nevertheless, the ship seems to be steadying over the past several months with some logical hires and signings. That seems to have calmed the waters and earned Bocanegra more time at the helm.