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AJC’s Doug Roberson On Atlanta United’s Firing Of Gabriel Heinze

Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze guides his team as they play Inter Miami during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze guides his team as they play Inter Miami during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Credit Jim Rassol / AP Photo

After only 13 games into his first season as Atlanta United’s head coach, Gabriel Heinze is out. The Major League Soccer franchise relieved him of his duties on Sunday. It came after an eight-game winless streak, capped by another loss to New England Saturday.

Atlanta United’s club president Darren Eales and other team officials said it came down to more than just a lack of W’s.

“There’ll be some times managers will fit at certain clubs and will not fit at other clubs,” Eales told reporters Sunday. “Sometimes you’re not going to know that until they’re actually in the job.”

Doug Roberson covers Atlanta United and professional soccer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He told WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress he wasn’t surprised by the firing — as Heinze’s coaching style had come under scrutiny for some time. That includes Heinze’s supposed feud with star striker Josef Martinez.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.