ATLANTA – Atlanta United, the reigning Major League Soccer (MLS) champion, has named Dutchman Frank de Boer as its new manager, succeeding Argentine Gerardo “Tata” Martino.
De Boer, who lasted less than three months at Inter Milan and had an even shorter stint with Crystal Palace, said that Atlanta United is better organized than either of his last two clubs.
For the 48-year-old Dutchman, the job with Atlanta, MLS title winners in just their second season, represents a chance to redeem himself.
“Of course, you have to learn from your mistakes, but also about organizations that aren’t good and organized and structured like Atlanta United,” De Boer told a press conference on Monday.
De Boer spent his playing career with top clubs such as Barcelona and Ajax and made 112 appearances for the Dutch national team.
His first head coaching position was with Ajax and he guided the squad to a record four consecutive Dutch first-division championships.
But he was unable to duplicate that success in other European leagues. Inter fired him in November 2016 after just 85 days, with the club sitting 12th in Serie A and struggling in the Europa League.
The following summer, De Boer was hired by Crystal Palace, looking to improve on their 15th place finish in the previous Premier League season.
Instead, the team became the first English side in 93 years to lose its first four matches without scoring a goal and De Boer was ousted.
“The 5˝ seasons that I was working for Ajax as a head coach ... it cost me less energy than the eight months at Inter and Crystal Palace. I was already starting to get gray hairs,” De Boer said in Atlanta.