Atlanta United FC

Discussion in 'Soccer Board' started by Fran Tarkenton, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    New York GiantsNew York YankeesAtlanta UnitedUCF Knights

    Really want to give this up
     
  2. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    North Carolina TarheelsAtlanta BravesAtlanta UnitedUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    was wondering the same thing, also been pretty poor on the ball by his standards
     
  3. Gaknight

    Gaknight Well-Known Member
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    UCF KnightsAtlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsAtlanta United

    really lucky today
     
  4. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
    Donor
    New York GiantsNew York YankeesAtlanta UnitedUCF Knights

    If he’s that wiped out, he shouldn’t be out there. Not sure who slides into that spot for him but he was bad today. Almost gave up more than just that one.

    When can we get Rossetto back on the bench?
     
  5. ASG Sucks

    ASG Sucks Bitter Atlanta Sports Fan
    New York IslandersEvertonAtlanta UnitedGrateful DeadUnited States Men's National Soccer TeamMississippi Rebels

    I know he is still young and played well at times last year, but I really don’t rate Bello as high as some other people in the fanbase/media. He can barely touch the ball with his right foot and seems to have a very low soccer IQ most of the time.

    Hoping he can improve this year but people have talked about him getting to Europe and I just don’t see it right now. Perhaps his raw potential could be coached up in a European league (similar to Yedlin) but very few players on the roster frustrate me as much as him at the moment. That could be due to his hype but just disappointing overall.

    Re: Sosa - he looks exhausted and a game off could do him some good.
     
  6. FadeMe

    FadeMe Well-Known Member
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    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta United

    Does anyone have access to this article?

     
  7. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
    Donor TMB OG
    North Carolina TarheelsAtlanta BravesAtlanta UnitedUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    don't have a sub but according to the reddit thread it paints Boca in a really bad light
     
    FadeMe likes this.
  8. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    The battles for control through Atlanta United’s rapid ascent and sudden backslide

    Felipe Cardenas 1h ago[​IMG] 43 [​IMG]
    Seated in the lobby of the InterContinental Marseille, Marcelo Bielsa meticulously detailed his footballing methodologies for an audience of two. The palatial 18th-century French Baroque hotel was Bielsa’s temporary home during his brief time as manager of the port city’s Ligue 1 side, but on this day in March of 2015 it was the site of a rare event: the commanding and mercurial Bielsa pitching someone else on his services.

    The Argentine manager nicknamed “El Loco” was well known as a fiery and obsessive mastermind. He had inspired coaches around the world with his work leading the Argentina and Chile national teams, as well as his distinctive stints at Newell’s Old Boys and Athletic Bilbao at the club level. But Bielsa was now keenly interested in a new project in the United States. His audience in that hotel lobby was Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra, the two chief soccer officers for a newly-awarded MLS expansion team called Atlanta United, due to start play in about two years.

    From its inception, Atlanta United had been committed to quickly building one of Major League Soccer’s biggest clubs, backed by the financial might of billionaire Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons. The first big step would be to hire a coach who would fit that criteria. Bielsa clearly did.

    For Bielsa, the timing was right. His spell with Olympique de Marseille was nearing its abrupt and dramatic end — he was just five months away from resigning immediately after the first match of the new season, citing an attempt to change details of his contract that he couldn’t accept. The opportunity to lead a brand new and well-funded club in an unfamiliar league appealed to him.

    However, Atlanta United wasn’t willing to blindly jump at a big name. Selecting the first manager in the club’s history was a huge organizational decision that would necessitate extremely careful research and the approval of Blank himself. Bielsa would have to personally make his case.

    The trio met in a modern, Art Deco-inspired nook that was far from private. Bielsa’s presentation included a position-by-position breakdown of his system and the player profiles that he would need in order to execute it. The meeting lasted several hours and multiple sources familiar with the details say that, at one point, Bielsa told his suitors that he would be happy to join Atlanta United if the club moved swiftly to present an offer. Both sides were pleased with that development. But Bielsa had one important condition: Atlanta United would leave the soccer decisions to him, including player identification.

    “(Bielsa) was very clear,” a source with knowledge of the talks says. “And I think those words, perhaps, were not well received by Carlos Bocanegra.”

    As the chief representative of the club’s sporting arm, Bocanegra had a pivotal role within the hiring process. The head coach and support staff would work hand-in-hand with, and report directly to the recently-retired U.S. national team captain in his first front-office position. Following up with potential candidates fell on him, as well.

    Bielsa’s ultimatum shouldn’t have come as a surprise given his history of exerting his control at every stop of his managerial career. Bielsa employs a high-tempo style of play that is tactically unique. The physical demands of it make player selection essential to his system.

    Bocanegra’s reaction to Bielsa’s demands was also expected. Internal battles for control are normal in every organization, and perhaps especially so at soccer’s highest levels. Few coaches around the world have absolute say on player acquisitions, and in a salary-capped league like MLS, a head coach with omnipotence over signings is unfeasible except in rare instances, usually involving coaches who have deep knowledge of MLS and its proprietary structures, like Peter Vermes at Sporting KC or Bruce Arena at the New England Revolution.

    Even with that roadblock, though, Atlanta United was in an enviable position to hire Bielsa as its first head coach. His philosophy suited the attacking brand of soccer that Atlanta United had set out to employ. His strategy for youth development, which Bielsa covered with Eales and Bocanegra during their meeting and the following day at a Marseille training session, would be an ideal fit for a club that planned to enter MLS with ambitious aims.

    Bielsa respected that Eales and Bocanegra would have to consult with Blank before making a decision. However, he expected to be notified of that decision right away, and that responsibility was delegated to Bocanegra, sources say.

    “(Bocanegra) never got back to Bielsa,” a source tells The Athletic. “He never called him.”

    “Bielsa felt that they had wasted his time,” says another source familiar with the situation.

    Bielsa’s scorn was evident as he relayed a message to Atlanta United through an intermediary.

    ‘Tell them to never call me again.’

    Since Atlanta United began play in 2017, the often fraught relationships between front office and head coaches have been as much a part of the club’s culture as the players, tactics and trophies won.

    For Blank, Eales and Bocanegra, the initial challenge was to attract the hemisphere’s top young talent to a new club in a league still trying to shake its global reputation as a retirement home, and build a roster that could win right away. To that end, Atlanta United were wildly successful, even without Bielsa — and that’s largely thanks to the man who did become the club’s first manager, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, one of the most important coaching hires in MLS history.

    Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almirón set the league alight before being sold to Premier League side Newcastle United for an MLS record fee and Josef Martínez has cemented a spot as one of MLS’s best-ever goal scorers. The club ranked 10th worldwide in average attendance during its first two seasons and currently holds each of MLS’s top 10 regular season attendance figures.

    With that coach, those players and an incendiary atmosphere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta United lifted MLS Cup in just its second season, exponentially raising the bar for themselves and all MLS expansion franchises to follow.

    However, the soccer decisions that rocketed the club to the top of the league were laced with backroom disagreements foreshadowed by the handling of Bielsa. While Atlanta United were winning, relationships within the club became fractured as battles for control of the roster played out, particularly during their 2018 championship season. The most visible falling out to those within the club occurred between Martino and Bocanegra — an event that led to Atlanta’s ill-fated spell over the following two seasons with Frank de Boer as manager.

    The Athletic spoke to 10 individuals associated with Atlanta United for this story. All sources requested anonymity, but each offered unique insights to better understand why the club’s impressive start in MLS took such a drastic turn, and what could be ahead as they play their first season under Gabriel Heinze – a demanding coach in the mold of Bielsa and Martino. Eales and Bocanegra were both asked to comment. Eales spoke on the record, while Bocanegra declined.

    Gerardo Martino stepped down as coach of the Argentina national team after a heartbreaking shootout loss to Chile in the 2016 Copa América Centenario final. He established a quick timeline for when he would entertain offers and return to coaching, targeting December of that year.

    Offers arrived from Mexico’s Club América and Turkish side Galatasaray. Serie A giant Inter Milan reached out as well, but he turned them all down. Martino, who played under Bielsa at Newell’s in the 1990s and modeled his coaching ideologies on those of his mentor, wanted to separate himself from the toxic environments that can engulf the world’s top clubs and national teams. He had experienced plenty of that already, after tiring spells in the spotlight at FC Barcelona and Argentina.

    The idea of coming to MLS was initially not top of mind for Martino. But when a close contact presented him with the possibility of coaching an expansion side, Martino was immediately interested in the prospect of building something from scratch. He was introduced to Eales and Bocanegra in July of 2016, just one month after losing the Copa América final.

    The meeting left Martino enamored with the job. He liked that he could offer valuable input across all aspects of the new organization — from the construction of the team’s training facility to the stadium’s locker room and the recruitment of new players. Eales and Bocanegra traveled to Martino’s home in Rosario, Argentina a month later to make their pitch. Over dinner, Martino discussed his philosophy and his preferred tactics as part of a thorough presentation to both executives. Martino then traveled to Atlanta to tour the team’s facilities, and in September he was hired. His initial timeline had been scrapped, and the club had struck gold. Missing out on Bielsa had not cost them after all.

    “When you’re hiring coaches there’s a lot of dynamics at work,” Eales says when asked why Atlanta had not pursued Bielsa further. “It’s even more fluid when you’re hiring for a brand new team because there’s not a set time to hire. But, likewise, you know you’re not going to hire a coach two years before you kick a ball because that’s just too far out.”

    Eales, a former director of football administration at Tottenham Hotspur, adds that Martino was “clearly the ideal hire” and that the timing of his availability had been “perfect.”

    “It was one of those things where everything just fell into place,” says Eales.

    The working relationship between Martino, Bocanegra and Paul McDonough, who was hired as Atlanta United’s director of soccer operations nine months after the Bielsa meeting, would be crucial to Atlanta’s success. McDonough was tasked with working alongside Bocanegra on player acquisitions and salary cap management, as well as setting up the club’s scouting network and day-to-day player operations and management, according to a club statement.

    Like Bielsa, Martino expected to have significant decision-making control over player signings. Yet, according to a source who was present during his negotiations with Atlanta in 2016, Martino admitted that he had limited knowledge of the MLS player pool, and as a result was willing to cede some amount of control. McDonough’s understanding of complex MLS roster rules would be essential, and as a former player representative with Wasserman Media Group, he could tap into his own database in search of potential signings.

    However, Martino and his staff — veteran coaches with contacts throughout South America — were intent on acquiring the right players from the talent-rich continent. These requests would go through the chief front office decision-makers: Bocanegra, McDonough, and Lucy Rushton, Atlanta United’s former head of technical recruitment and analysis, who was recently named general manager at DC United.

    Before the start of the 2017 MLS season, Martino and his staff created a list of players, with three names at each position, and presented it to the front office. That list included Miguel Almirón, whose agent was familiar with Martino. It didn’t take long for disagreements to occur.

    Sources present during Martino’s tenure in Atlanta say that he was ready to walk away from the club in December of 2016 if the players he had requested were not signed and that the threat intensified when Atlanta United pursued several other players without Martino’s approval.

    Both parties established concessions. According to sources, Martino would listen to the front office’s suggestions only after his targets were signed. Leandro González Pírez and Carlos Carmona were identified by Martino’s staff. Also on Martino’s list was Josef Martínez, who Martino had known through his own scouting networks and facing the Venezuelan during the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa América Centenario. MLS veterans like Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz were presented to the coaches by Bocanegra. Kevin Kratz was brought in by the front office, as well.

    There were still hiccups — sources say that Martino had concerns regarding the front office’s MLS record signing of Ezequiel Barco for a $15 million fee, which he thought was too much for a teenager, and wanted Atlanta United to sign Yamil Asad to a permanent deal. But ultimately Atlanta was able to build an impressive inaugural roster in 2017. A year later, they were crowned MLS Cup champions.

    “We equipped Atlanta United with a first-rate team,” says a source who was involved with their inaugural roster build. “We brought the best players that we could from South America.”

    Along the way, the relationship between Martino and Bocanegra soured, with Martino unhappy about being supervised by an inexperienced sporting director. Martino took particular exception to Bocanegra’s continued presence at day-to-day team activities like training, video sessions and meetings — things that Martino felt were outside of Bocanegra’s purview.

    Multiple sources who were at the club say that, by the 2018 season, Martino had barred Bocanegra from tactical video sessions and team meetings, and asked Eales if he could report directly to him, bypassing Bocanegra altogether. By the latter half of Atlanta United’s championship season, Bocanegra and Martino were not on speaking terms.

    “They had a terrible relationship,” says a former Atlanta United player.

    “(Bocanegra) wanted to be more of the boss and Tata obviously didn’t really want that,” says another former player.

    The pending sale of Miguel Almirón was another subject of discord, sources say. After Atlanta United received an offer from AC Milan, Bocanegra told Martino to rest the Paraguayan designated player before the first leg of the MLS Cup quarterfinal against NYCFC. Almirón had injured his hamstring a month prior, but Martino refused to concede. The player had been medically cleared to play, so Martino stood firm, telling Bocanegra that no one other than himself would manage a player’s minutes.

    Almirón was Atlanta United’s most valuable asset. For Bocanegra, protecting a player who would eventually become an MLS-record sale was essential to the club’s long-term business model. However, Martino’s singular focus was to win the MLS Cup final and, to him, Bocanegra had overstepped. Atlanta won the away leg 1-0, with Almirón scoring in a 3-1 victory in the return.

    [​IMG]

    (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    “There’ll always be tension between a head coach and a technical director, or director of football, because they naturally have different perspectives,” says Eales. “Coaches naturally and quite rightly care about results because they feel that their sort of longevity depends upon results from week to week. A good technical director or (general manager), his role is to be thinking about the medium- to long-term for the club, and not necessarily just from game to game. That creates a healthy tension in all clubs all over the world. It’s working properly.”

    Atlanta United’s championship season and exciting style of play had turned heads around MLS and beyond, but by 2018, Martino stood little chance of getting the increased control over player personnel decisions he had long wanted. As a result of these inner struggles, Martino made up his mind about returning to international management.

    “Two years with Atlanta United, he had grown tired of the day-to-day, and especially having to deal with internal issues at the club,” says a source close to Martino. “He wanted to spend more time with his family and less time on the training pitch. That was his plan.”

    Several sources tell The Athletic that Martino’s fragmented relationship with Bocanegra was another primary reason why the Argentine departed.

    “I’m 100 percent sure (their relationship) is why Tata left,” says one source. “I don’t want to pin it all on Carlos, because Tata was difficult to work with, I’m sure.”

    “Tata was full of energy and you could see that,” says a former Atlanta United player. “I think he really enjoyed the group that we had put together. The locker room was great. The mix was good. I think he would’ve stayed if the situation was a bit different with the club, even after losing Miguel (Almirón).”

    Martino declined Atlanta United’s contract extension offer and, after evaluating proposals from several clubs and national teams, he accepted the opportunity to coach Mexico.

    Notably, multiple sources confirmed that Martino had real interest in coaching the U.S. men’s national team — interest that dated back to 2017, when he and the Atlanta United coaching staff attended the U.S. team’s World Cup qualifier against Panama in Orlando.

    “He had an offer from Mexico, but he wanted to manage the U.S. team,” says a source.

    According to Martino at the time, the USSF never approached him for an interview.

    After Martino, Atlanta United’s coaching vacancy was an attractive opportunity, and the prevailing thought was that Atlanta would hire a coach whose tactics were similar to Martino’s — someone who could immediately connect with a committed group of players who had just won an MLS Cup.

    Manuel Pellegrini was an option. After two seasons at the helm of Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune, the former River Plate, Real Madrid and Manchester City manager had expressed interest in coming to Atlanta through a third-party representative. Pellegrini’s agent was not contacted by Atlanta United’s front office and he ended up with West Ham.

    Former Leicester City manager Claudio Raineri, who shocked the world by winning the Premier League with the club in 2016, and Marcelo Lippi, who led Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, were also presented to Atlanta United by an intermediary. Neither Raineri nor Lippi were interviewed for the position.

    One manager who was interviewed by Eales and Bocanegra was Gabriel Milito, another Argentine. According to a source with knowledge of the interview, Milito’s tactical philosophy, which is similar to Martino’s 4-2-3-1 attacking system, as well as his knowledge of MLS, had impressed Atlanta’s front office. The former Club Atlético Independiente coach had given Barco his professional debut in 2016, and would have been expected to connect with the rising star and unlock his potential.

    During the search for Martino’s successor, sources confirm that Heinze was presented as a candidate. One source says that negotiations with Frank de Boer were at an advanced stage, and so Heinze was not considered. Atlanta United hired De Boer on December 23, 2018.

    The announcement was met with trepidation from the world football community. De Boer’s four consecutive Eredivisie titles at Ajax and international name recognition definitely stood out. But the change in culture he represented, along with his troubled spells at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace, were legitimate concerns from both inside and outside of Atlanta United.

    “I inherited from Tata, and there was the Argentina culture, you know, Argentine music in the locker room and all of that,” De Boer told The Athletic last year. “(The front office) wanted a European coach. They wanted a little bit more of the North American culture, or something like that, but it’s almost impossible when you have so many players that stick together, and that’s normal. I did it at Barcelona with the Dutch guys. It’s difficult to break that culture.”

    [​IMG]

    (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
    According to Eales, De Boer was hired because the front office realized that Atlanta’s opponents had changed their defensive tactics in order to thwart Martino’s aggressive style of play. And Martino’s pragmatic approach to the 2018 playoffs had proven that conservative tactics could lead to a championship.

    “(Breaking the culture) absolutely wasn’t the intention,” Eales says. “I think we were hoping to be at that next level… You’re trying to sort of evolve, and that was our intention. Our focus was how can we try and evolve the club, not change the club.”

    A focus on defensive shape and restricting players from pressing the opposition dominated De Boer’s first preseason, and problems with members of Atlanta’s squad, including new acquisition Pity Martínez, began immediately.

    “You probably lost big guys like Josef, like Pity quite early,” says a player from the De Boer era in Atlanta. “If those guys are gone, then the rest of the crew — you know, the South American crew — follows quickly.”

    “Even when we were winning games, we weren’t Atlanta United from the two years (prior),” says a previously cited former player. “It was a long season.”

    The disunity within the team was evident and needed constant mending during the 2019 season, but Atlanta United continued to break records under De Boer. The club’s 58 points were the most ever recorded by a defending MLS champion in the post-shootout era. Atlanta notched seven consecutive clean sheets, a new MLS record, and Josef Martínez scored in 15 consecutive games, the longest streak in league history.

    Amidst this, the balance of roster-making power had shifted back to the front office. McDonough had moved to head up Inter Miami’s inaugural roster build after Atlanta’s MLS Cup win in 2018, with Bocanegra taking on more responsibility, including contract negotiations and executing MLS’s tricky roster mechanisms. Several sources suggest that throughout his time in Atlanta, De Boer was not aware of the club’s soccer decisions as much as his predecessor.

    “Frank didn’t even know who was signing, who was out of contract,” says one former player. “Julian Gressel went up to him… he’s negotiating (with the club) and Frank has no idea that Julian’s halfway out the door. Carlos had total control. There was a big change within the club when Paul McDonough left, I think.”

    De Boer confirmed to The Athletic during an interview last August that Gressel’s trade to D.C. United before the 2020 season was unexpected.

    “Julian Gressel was a surprise to me that suddenly he has to move,” De Boer said. “Because with Josef, (Gressel) was involved in maybe 60 percent of the goals for Atlanta United, so, for me, that was also a very big surprise.”

    Darlington Nagbe’s exit before the 2020 season is another example of the way Bocanegra handles contract negotiations, says a source familiar with the situation. Nagbe’s contract extension took on increased importance in 2019 after he refused to train with the team during a preseason trip to California.

    According to the source, Nagbe was disheartened after the club “dragged their feet” during contract negotiations following the 2018 season, as both parties had previously agreed to sign a multi-year deal upon Nagbe’s trade to Atlanta from Portland.

    Nagbe then pushed for a trade to the Columbus Crew after his former coach, Caleb Porter, was hired in Ohio, in spite of the fact that Atlanta United then offered Nagbe a better deal.

    “Darlington didn’t care at that point,” the source says. “It never had to happen. He could’ve been locked up. He should’ve been there and that was just a mistake.”

    Bocanegra’s lack of experience was out of step with the scope of the Atlanta United project. But for Eales, Bocanegra’s best qualities were his knowledge of MLS as a player, and of the culture of American soccer. Eales didn’t want to hire a candidate from England who would “(tell) America how to build a club.”

    “Initially when I first met (Bocanegra), we had the same vision and philosophy for how we wanted the teams to play as we built out the club,” says Eales. “This was someone who didn’t have transformative experience, but he was someone that was inquisitive, asked questions and wanted to learn. He had that skill set, that locker room leadership in leading his country. His role has evolved as he’s gotten more experience.”

    Bocanegra was promoted to vice president and technical director of Atlanta United following the 2017 season, signing a contract extension until March of 2022. In a statement announcing the move, Eales lauded Bocanegra’s “seamless relationships” with Atlanta’s players and with Martino. Eales also credited Bocanegra with building Atlanta United’s inaugural roster and having a fundamental role in setting up the club’s academy.

    In 2019, Bocanegra told The Athletic that he manages the squad as a technical director in much the same way that he did as captain of the U.S. men’s national team. “Honest” was the term that he used.

    Yet, De Boer’s hire and the subsequent departure of key players had unsettled Atlanta’s locker room. Several senior-level players blame Bocanegra, knowing what had transpired between him and Martino.

    “It was Carlos’ club,” says an aforementioned former player.

    “Mostly everything on the soccer side we point to Carlos,” says another previously cited former Atlanta player. “Just to know that Frank had no idea about signings, that automatically signifies the disconnect in power.”

    [​IMG]

    (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Eales is clear that one person within the club doesn’t make a decision as important as a coaching hire alone.

    “All our decisions are collaborative efforts,” Eales explains. “I think that’s the reality and look, I mean, every coach has their strengths and weaknesses.”

    De Boer was fired by Atlanta United midway through 2020 after a winless performance at the MLS is Back Tournament. Dating back to that tournament, Atlanta United has won just five of their last 25 MLS games to date.

    During Atlanta’s final match of the group stage in Orlando, Bocanegra was spotted on Atlanta’s bench by ESPN cameras. He appeared to be discussing tactics with midfielder Jeff Larentowicz mid-game as De Boer coached from the touchline, a far from subtle display of Bocanegra’s influence on the team at the time.

    Heinze’s coaching career has been short, but he has already become known for developing strong bonds with his players, and having a sometimes combative relationship with upper management. Combined, those factors made Heinze’s hire in Atlanta noteworthy beyond what he’ll be expected to produce on the field.

    “I know that I can be a pain in the ass when I’m working,” Heinze told La Nación in January. “It’s true that I like to supervise everything. I like to know everything that’s going on. I want those who work with me to present me with what they’re going to do, but afterwards, I let them do their jobs. I want to know why they do it. Then, if trust is lost, it’s very difficult to regain.”

    Sources are split on whether they think Bocanegra and Heinze will be able to form a stable working relationship. The consensus, however, is that success is possible if both Bocanegra and Heinze can change certain aspects of their respective styles of management. Clearly defined roles regarding player personnel will have to be established.

    “As long as (Heinze) can choose the players and they deliver on their promises, he’d be in,” said a source in October regarding Heinze’s interest in Atlanta United. “What he demands is professionalism and reliability (from an organization). Just like Bielsa.”

    Like Martino, Heinze agreed to a two-year contract with a one-year option. Heinze told reporters in December that honest communication with Eales and Bocanegra, and a mutual respect for each party’s priorities, were fundamental to his decision to accept the Atlanta United job. He added that constant dialogue with Bocanegra would be imperative to the success of this new Atlanta United rebuild.

    “There has to be many hours of communication with Carlos, and that’s been happening,” Heinze said.

    It was immediately clear that Heinze will have more authority over player personnel decisions than De Boer.

    “I have already communicated what I believe is missing from this team, in relation to players that may come to the club,” said Heinze in December. “All of that has been discussed and it’s being worked through.”

    For example, in March Heinze told reporters that he had given Bocanegra a list of five center back options. After missing out on River Plate’s Héctor David Martínez, Atlanta targeted Heinze’s former captain at Vélez Sarsfield, Lautaro Giannetti. That deal fell through after Giannetti failed his medical. Alan Franco, 24, was signed from Independiente on April 8.

    Including Franco, four Argentine players have joined Atlanta United since Heinze’s appointment. Santiago Sosa, Franco Ibarra and Lisandro López arrived at the start of the season.

    In December Bocanegra reiterated the importance of maintaining open communication with Heinze on key soccer decisions at the club.

    “It’s been really good,” said Bocanegra. “Gaby did a really thorough analysis. When we were (in Argentina) in person, we could really dive in deep on the players, talk about the roster, positions we need to strengthen. The nice part was that it was very aligned, which is great. We’ve had a lot of conversations, a lot of communication, and like he said earlier, there’s a lot of stuff on the table, but we’ve been discussing that together.”

    As the press conference was coming to a close, a local reporter asked Bocanegra if one could expect a Tata 2.0 version of Atlanta United from Heinze. Bocanegra didn’t mention Martino’s name, but he said that it was unfair to make such a comparison.

    “This is Gaby’s team and I think this is something that we have to be mindful of.”
     
  9. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    About to read it but transfers that Boca seemed to take the lead on, without Tata's influence, are what set the Club back (and some still are).

    Also seems like there were reports that Boca had friction with quality players that eventually saw them move out of ATLUTD.
     
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  10. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    incredible article. Felipe seems to be a better writer the longer the format.

    Athletic has put out some great pieces today on Columbus Crew rebranding, USMNT Gold Cup roster too. Well worth the subscription.
     
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  11. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
    Donor TMB OG
    North Carolina TarheelsAtlanta BravesAtlanta UnitedUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    thinking this is going to be a fun summer transfer window
     
  12. Bishop

    Bishop Future Member
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    Auburn TigersAtlanta FalconsAtlanta UnitedPGAGrateful DeadSneakers

    Not sure what everyone on the internet is screaming about on this. Nothing suprising coming out of it.

    Nagbe was the biggest mishandling that the club did. Hated to see him go. These Managers don't understand the complex MLS Salary Cap so someone has to take control of it.
     
  13. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
    Donor
    New York GiantsNew York YankeesAtlanta UnitedUCF Knights

    Great article. Not a great look for Boca but my hope is that he’s sort of learned from the FDB debacle.

    Also, I still can’t get over how the USMNT never even called Tata. Like what the fuck.
     
  14. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    also thought it was interesting how Eales basically admitted, though not explicitly, that they were full of shit when talking about FdB continuing the high flying style we'd become accustomed to after the hire, as it turned out the more pragmatic approach was what they were looking for
     
  15. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    This is maddening :bang: -- after winning a championship in the 2nd season, and having one of, if not the most exciting team in MLS history, they want to change their approach? Pray tell, how does that make sense?

    I've been putting off reading it, but am about to start.
     
    #7815 Gin Buckets, May 12, 2021
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  16. Open Carry

    Open Carry TMB Rib Master
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    Ready for the full Benz tomorrow. I’ll be tailgating in the gulch :drunk:
     
  17. Open Carry

    Open Carry TMB Rib Master
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  18. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    had a week of rest, at home in front of the people, and imo the lineup at the moment with the highest potential

    I'm expecting things
     
  19. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    What channel is this shit on? I’m south of Atlanta for a soccer tournament and can’t find the game.
     
  20. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    bally southeast
     
  21. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    Braves are on here on Bally. This is bullshit
     
  22. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    you should be able to watch on the app
     
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  23. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    Found it
     
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  24. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
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  25. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    oh my fucking god thank you

    absolutely stunned
     
  26. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    God damn this team needed that boost
     
  27. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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    That shit was wild

    Fun atmosphere at the end
     
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  28. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    McDonough GA kinda sucks but the Holiday Inn is lit right now after that win :laugh:
     
  29. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    just warms the heart :ohgosh:

     
  30. Open Carry

    Open Carry TMB Rib Master
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    I can’t go to the next home game on 5/29. Is anyone interested in my pair of tickets? Section 245. Face is $30/ea.

    I’m going to list on Ticketmaster in a couple days if none of y’all are interested.
     
  31. Connor Norman

    Connor Norman Cool ass dog
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    We terminated the contract of Lisandro Lopez.
     
  32. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    Sounds like he’s retiring then. Sucks but I get it. I liked him off the bench, but hopefully this opens a spot we can fill with a physical forward.
     
  33. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
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    Apparently his dad died too which likely contributed to this.
     
  34. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    Yea he left the country because of it and said he may retire too. Guess he did.
     
  35. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    can't blame him, hope Conway's able to work himself into some playing time because it's pretty apparent by now that Cubo's not it
     
  36. Arrec Bardwin

    Arrec Bardwin He ain’t me, he can’t be me
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    Opens up an international slot :bamawarn:
     
  37. TheFreak55

    TheFreak55 Our way is the old way
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    Messi Time
     
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  38. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    I feel like we are trying to help Seattle score
     
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  39. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    And there it is
     
  40. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    Zero creativity from our guys. It’s just brutal to watch them not get forward and try to make something happen.
     
  41. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    there are at least 4-5 times a match where someone on the wings has the chance to play an easy ball to a mid in space going forward but they're so programmed right now that they just robotically recycle to a cb every time

    Sosa's distribution is literally the only enjoyable thing about our attack right now
     
  42. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    Josef did more to work the ball to dangerous spots than any of our mids, which is not his game nor is it his job.
     
  43. Shiggityshwo

    Shiggityshwo Well-Known Member
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    no doubt, but my point is they're consistently missing the few easy opportunities to find a guy in the middle with space in front and the opportunity to make something happen, whether or not that guy actually does something with it is another thing but I'd at least like to see that recognition from whoever has the ball on the wing
     
  44. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    Midfielders: “Welp, I don’t see any easy goals, so I guess I’ll just kick this back to Miles.”
     
  45. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
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    I know much less about soccer strategy than you all, but even I can tell when it's blatantly obvious that they're absolutely scared of trying to make a few plays in the middle of the field when they have a bit of a breakaway. They seem to always slow down early and allow all the Seattle defenders to get back into position.
     
  46. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    Just feels like that kind of day where the ball just won’t go in
     
  47. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    I mean, we’re not exactly giving it a chance to cross the line.
     
  48. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    At this point, put in Conway or something. Maybe he’ll give a crap about trying to make something happen.

    Moreno is just not doing anything positive out there right now. I had hoped that game winner would give him some confidence.
     
  49. MORBO!

    MORBO! Hello, Tiny Man. I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!!
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    lol okay thanks