clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Report: Atlanta United eyeing ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca as head coach

New, 78 comments

It’s not the name many were expecting, but upon further review it makes a ton of sense.

AS Roma v FC Crotone - Serie A Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Atlanta United are in advanced talks with Paulo Fonseca that have reached the ownership level and a tour of the team’s training facility according to a report from The Athletic. Read the piece for all the details.

It’s a surprising name to hear considering Fonseca has recently managed at a high level with Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk, but also because many were expecting Darren Eales and Atlanta United to target a coach with MLS experience that could stabilize the team in a volatile league.

But take a look under the hood and Fonseca’s name makes more sense. Most obviously, the 48-year-old Portuguese looked set to be named the new head coach at Tottenham Hotspur — a team similarly looking for a stabilizer after the chaotic tenure of Jose Mourinho. Darren Eales, a former front office executive at Spurs will have surely been in touch with his contacts and gotten background on their experience interviewing Fonseca. The appointment eventually broke down for financial reasons.

Tactically, Fonseca’s ideas would seemingly fit well with the team that was assembled to play under Gabriel Heinze before the Argentine was fired weeks ago. Here are a couple handy videos that explains his tactical and management/personal styles.

The nice thing about researching Fonseca and what he might offer Atlanta is that due to his deep negotiations with Tottenham, our SB Nation sister site Cartilage Free Captain has already done a lot of the work for us!

Also good reading on Fonseca is this farewell post from the SBN Roma blog. SOme interesting anecdotes to read in light of the situation in Atlanta.

And I’ll remember New Year’s Day 2020 when Fonseca set up an open training session at the Tre Fontane for the team to reconnect with the fans during the winter close season. Typically, that’s a time when players start worrying about the transfer market and thinking for themselves, so it was a bold move and I hope it becomes tradition in the future. Unfortunately, that time, came just two months before a pandemic struck the world.

I’d also have to point to his record against smaller clubs, at least early in his tenure. It was nice going into a match and not expecting disaster to strike against bottom-end clubs. Apart from all that, I’ll remember him for his grace, his fluidity with languages, and his ability to get the best out of overlooked players.

We’ll have more on Fonseca soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think.