Atlanta United’s de Boer says he will get team turned around

Team was 0-3 with no goals scored in MLS tournament
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan as Atlanta United was beaten by Columbus 1-0 on Tuesday in Orlando.

Credit: MLS

Credit: MLS

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan as Atlanta United was beaten by Columbus 1-0 on Tuesday in Orlando.

Amid calls on social media for him to either resign or be fired, Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer said no one is more disappointed than himself in his team’s performance in the MLS tournament in Orlando, Fla.

His team was beaten by Columbus 1-0 on Tuesday. It was Atlanta United’s third consecutive defeat, and it exited the tournament as the only team not to score. Atlanta United also lost to the New York Red Bulls and Cincinnati by the same 1-0 score.

“I will give always my best,” he said. “I will continue that until the end. I can change the vibe we have now to a winning vibe. We showed this last season.”

Atlanta United started the 2019 season, de Boer’s first with the team after poor and short stints at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace, with a loss, two draws and a loss before the first win in the league. One more defeat was followed by five consecutive wins as de Boer found a formation that worked. The team would win the U.S. Open Cup, Campeones Cup and advance to the finals of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

So, de Boer has recent history to support his belief.

Atlanta United started this season 2-0, with wins against Nashville, which was playing its first game as an expansion franchise, and against Cincinnati, which the previous season arguably was the worst team in MLS history.

Playing without injured striker Josef Martinez, the team was beaten 3-0 by Club America in Mexico City. There’s no shame in losing to the Mexican giants, but goalkeeper Brad Guzan said during Tuesday’s postgame news conference that the team’s malaise goes back to that performance.

“This just didn’t happen in one game,” he said. “This is four games. Something needs to be changed. Conversations need to take place and a different product on the field.”

Guzan and fullback Brooks Lennon said the players have to take responsibility for the poor results and that de Boer’s future wasn’t a decision for the players.

“Players come and go, managers come and go,” Guzan said. “It’s our job to go out and perform to a certain level.”

De Boer said he has the players to effect positive change. He said there is quality. There is more coming with Jurgen Damm and possibly Erik Lopez joining the team.

Now, de Boer has to figure out what will work best. The team’s scoreless streak is past 400 minutes when injury time is added to the 395 minutes or regular time.

“We are going to do that,” he said. “We will do that together. When we come back to Marietta we will try to get everyone back on their feet again and get confidence and show the quality the team has.”

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