Sports

Atlanta United Fires Coach Heinze After Disappointing Start

Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze gestures from the bench during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders in Seattle. Atlanta United's disappointing 2021 record has cost Heinze his job. Atlanta United fired Heinze on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze gestures from the bench during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders in Seattle. Atlanta United's disappointing 2021 record has cost Heinze his job. Atlanta United fired Heinze on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
Credit Ted S. Warren / AP Photo
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Atlanta United’s disappointing 2021 record has cost coach Gabriel Heinze his job.

Atlanta United fired Heinze on Sunday. Assistant coach Rob Valentino was named interim head coach.

Atlanta United said “a variety of issues relating to the day-to-day leadership of the team” led to the change. Certainly, the team’s record was a factor. Atlanta United is 2-4-7 and 10th in the Eastern Conference.

“This was certainly not a decision we wanted to make at this point in our season, but it was the right one for the club,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement.

“Gabi is a talented coach and is undeniably passionate about his craft and the sport of soccer. We are grateful to him for his service and wish him all the best in the future.”

Heinze joined Atlanta United in 2020 after less than three full years at Argentine club Velez Sarsfield.

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