“There is no self-inflicted urgency to get this done quickly,” Cannon said.
Cannon said there will be a team to look at soccer-metrics related to candidates, and that he will be looking at culture, values and leadership. He said Blank has high expectations.
“So I need a great leader who lives our values every single day, understands who we are culturally as an organization, because if you want to work for Arthur Blank, it’s not just about what you do, it’s about how you do it,” Cannon said. “So you’ve got to live values every single day.
Cannon implied that Dimitrios Efstathiou, the club’s vice president of soccer operations and strategy, will not be a candidate.
Though Eales is leaving after eight years with the franchise, Cannon said the club will retain its philosophy of buying and developing young players, and it will remain active in the transfer market because Blank is “100 percent” committed to the club’s success. Under Eales, Atlanta United set several transfer records within MLS for purchasing players such as Ezequiel Barco and Thiago Almada.
“We think that is going to absolutely be a key to future success inside of Major League Soccer,” Cannon said. “So it starts and ends with talent, talent development, the degree to which we can grow our own through our academies, and through our own territories, and then acquire from the global game, we’re going to continue that.”
Cannon, who is serving as day-to-day interim president of the club, said he will lean on Vice President Carlos Bocanegra to keep the club moving forward on the soccer side. Bocanegra signed a four-year contract extension after the 2021 season. The team is four points below the playoff line with 13 games remaining. It has been affected by 20 injuries that have resulted in players missing at least one game this season. Cannon said he and Blank are frustrated with the results, but understand the impact of injuries and are confident that manager Gonzalo Pineda will make up those four points and the team will be in the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. Pineda said that Cannon has met with him and the team.
“They’re gonna find a working rhythm together that is going to be naturally different from the working rhythm that Darren and Carlos established,” Cannon said of Bocanegra and the next president. “So I’m confident that we’ll be able to find that and that the two will be able to work in harmony with one another.”
For more content about Atlanta United
Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC
On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now
On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson
Atlanta United coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found
Apple - https://apple.co/3ISD6Ve
Spotify - https://spoti.fi/3L8TN0C
Google podcasts - https://bit.ly/32KlZW3
If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast...and if you like what you hear please give us a good rating so we can grow the show.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a special offer for Atlanta United supporters and listeners to this podcast. If you subscribe today you will not only get unlimited digital access to the AJC and the Sunday paper for $2.30 a week, but we are also throwing in a special limited edition Atlanta United and Atlanta Journal Constitution scarf. So sign up now at subscribe.ajc.com/utdscarf.
Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule
Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1
March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0
March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1
March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3
April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0
April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0
April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0
April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1
April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1
May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1
May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2
May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2
May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1
June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0
June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1
June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1
July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2
July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0
July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1
July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1
July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0
July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
August 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1
August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
August 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1
Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX
Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas
Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE