Frank de Boer apologizes for calling Atlanta United fans "spoiled"

MARIETTA, Ga — Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer apologized Tuesday for referring to his club's fans as “spoiled” after the team dropped points in its home opener against FC Cincinnati on Sunday.

De Boer, speaking ahead of the team’s second leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals against CF Monterrey on Wednesday (8 pm ET | UDN,, apologized for using the word that he explained has a different connotation in his homeland.

“We say it in Holland, but there’s maybe a different way of understanding it," said De Boer. “It’s more that [Atlanta United fans] are used to [getting] the victories.

“I’m sorry for what I said,” added de Boer later in his response.

At the press conference Sunday following his club's 1-1 draw against FC Cincy, De Boer talked about the high expectations Atlanta fans have coming off an MLS Cup championship.

“[The fans] were a little bit spoiled with the results last season,” De Boer said then. “Everybody has expectations, and that’s also normal.”

A smattering of boos rang out at the final whistle of the draw, where more than 70,000 fans in the announced attendance witnessed their team struggle to create chances against an expansion side playing its second competitive match. 

“I think you cannot lose points against Cincinnati at home,” said De Boer Tuesday. “That's very disappointing for everyone. It takes time when you have new players around and the team is not that connected. They have to get a feeling.”

Atlanta's 2019 campaign is off to a rocky start with only one win in its first five games across all competitions. The rough patch is magnified off back of an MLS Cup championship run, in which the team went unbeaten throughout the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

De Boer continued to clarify his remarks Tuesday, referring to some notes as he spoke.

“It's important for the supporters to support the team,” he said. “Push them as they always do and did against Cincinnati — to be supporters and be the 12th man behind them. ‘Spoiled’ was probably the wrong pronouncement.”