Atlanta United announced on Friday that the club and head coach Frank de Boer have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately. The club will announce an interim coach shortly while beginning a search for De Boer’s permanent replacement.
Also departing from the club are assistant coaches Orlando Trustfull and Bob de Klerk and video analyst Erwin Koenis.
“On behalf of Atlanta United, I would like to thank Frank for his leadership and commitment to the club,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales in a statement. “Under Frank’s guidance, the club had a strong 2019 season in both MLS and international competition. After discussing it with Frank, the decision was reached mutually to part ways. In winning two trophies in his first season in charge, he will always be a part of the club’s history, and with great appreciation and respect we wish him all the best in the future.”
De Boer was announced as the club’s head coach on December 23, 2018, replacing Tata Martino. Under De Boer, Atlanta United finished the 2019 MLS regular season in second place in the Eastern Conference with an 18W-12L-4D record. The team also won two trophies, the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the second-annual Campeones Cup, and finished one game shy of advancing to MLS Cup 2019 after losing at home in the Eastern Conference Final to Toronto FC.
De Boer guided the club to a 2W-0L-0D record in 2020 before the MLS season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlanta United was then knocked out of the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando, losing all three matches in group play and failing to score a goal.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had with Atlanta United,” Frank de Boer said. “Coaching in Major League Soccer and living in Atlanta has been a wonderful experience and a welcome new challenge. I will never forget the incredible supporters here in Atlanta, they are truly special. I want to thank the players, coaches and staff for all of their support, it has been my pleasure to work with all of you.”
He arrived in Atlanta in December 2018 after two brief spells at the helm of Crystal Palace in England (2017) and Inter Milan in Italy (2016). He was let go by Crystal Palace after 77 days and 5 matches and his time at Inter Milan ended after 85 days and 14 matches at the helm.
After retiring from an illustrious playing career in 2006, De Boer went into coaching, beginning at the youth level at Ajax where he had starred as a professional for 11 seasons. He took over as caretaker manager of the Ajax first team midway through the 2010-'11 season. Led by numerous former academy players, his team found immediate success and ultimately won the Eredivisie on the final day of the season. De Boer’s team followed that by winning each of the next three domestic titles, marking the first time Ajax claimed four consecutive Eredivisie titles in its decorated history. He resigned as manager following the 2015-'16 season with a career winning percentage of 60.3 percent.
Atlanta United are expected to return to MLS competition when the regular season resumes following the conclusion of MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.