Frank de Boer’s time at Atlanta United in quotes

Atlanta United and Frank de Boer agreed to part ways on Friday after the team went 0-for-3 with no goals scored in the MLS tournament in Orlando.

De Boer leaves the MLS club having won two trophies, the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup, and a record of 20-15-4 in the league.

These quotes represent his short time at the club and are compiled from various media, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“We want to be competitive on all fronts, which is our aim every season. We have the MLS Cup, the Champions League, which is new to us. We want to help through our youth development, not only getting players into first team, but from the academy to Atlanta United 2 to the first team. Frank’s background and expertise having come through Ajax will help our development. He understands the importance of the pipeline.

“Keep this freight train rolling. Keep building on the success we’ve had.”

President Darren Eales about de Boer when he was hired


“I’m a great believer in terms that coaches fit certain clubs. Look at his time at Ajax with four titles in his first four seasons, having come from the youth academy, he’s a great fit for us and we are a great fit for him.

“With our players, amazing fan base and culture we’ve created it sets him up for great success and plays to his strengths.”

Eales on de Boer


“We have a style of pay, a philosophy, a vision for the club. We think he will come in and continue to build on the club.”

Vice President Carlos Bocanegra, when de Boer was hired


“Philosophy, structure, core values ... everything was fitted to me.”

de Boer on Atlanta United’s culture, said during his introductory press conference


“You have to learn from your mistakes. They weren’t as organized as Atlanta United. There was no cohesion between the departments. Everything was separate. Now, I don’t have to look around. There are no dead bodies in the closet. Everything is clear and structured. It’s so much easier.”

de Boer on Atlanta United compared to his previous jobs with Inter Milan and then Crystal Palace


“(The fans) were a little bit spoiled with the results last season. Everybody has expectations, and that’s also normal.”

de Boer, after a draw with Cincinnati early during the 2019 season


“We say it in Holland, but there’s maybe a different way of understanding it. It’s more that (Atlanta United fans) are used to the victories. I’m sorry for what I said.”

de Boer


“Subbed off because we had to win duels. He didn’t do enough to avoid giving someone an easy long ball. When Brandon (Vazquez) came in you saw it was a different story.

“I want 11 men who work hard, not 10 or 9 or 8 men. Everybody has to work, especially in these types of games. These are very difficult games. We had to win those duels.”

de Boer on why he subbed off Pity Martinez in a game in July


“I think he played a really good game. I was really happy of course for him. He knows he wants to see his level going up. Today he did a good step for that.”

de Boer about Martinez after a win against St. Louis in the U.S. Open Cup a few days later


“We have a good relationship, but it’s what he said that bothered me. That was it. He’s the coach, as the coach, everyone has to understand his style of play and what he wants, we have to follow his orders.”

Pity Martinez about de Boer’s statements to the media about him


“He’s doing what he has to do with what he has. But in two seasons, I never saw Atlanta United play defensively. We can’t play defensively. Atlanta United is a team that gets forward and that’s how it should always be.”

Josef Martinez on de Boer later in July


“It’s not bad luck, it’s not karma. You make your own luck and we need to find a way to come out of this (funk). It’s not bad luck, it’s not just one-off games. Another day, they could have had a few more. Second half, they hit the outside of the post, first half they got in behind us once or twice. It’s certainly not bad luck, it’s certainly not karma, it’s down to us. We need to be better.”

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan after a loss at Seattle in July


“I think for me, it’s ridiculous. It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to [earn] and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”

De Boer, in an interview The Guardian when asked about the plans for equal pay between men and women in soccer


“Let me be clear from the start that this was Frank’s individual opinion on that topic. It certainly doesn’t reflect the position of the club. To be crystal clear, our club is now and always will be in supporting equality of strong values and lifting each other up. We want to grow the game of soccer for all to enjoy, and that’s what we stand for. As you guys know, that’s the value that Arthur [Blank] is known for, and it’s really the core of his personal and business philosophy.

“I mean look, he used the word ‘ridiculous,’ which got the headlines, and that was a poor, misguided use of the word. I think that with English being his second or third language, sometimes his words get misinterpreted. But nevertheless, those were unwise words to use and Frank will have to explain his comments. I don’t believe the headline actually represented his true position on the topic.”

Eales to 92.9FM


“I’d like to clarify my comments in yesterday’s Guardian story. When taken in its full context, my position is that I wholly respect and support the women’s game and am encouraged and excited by its growth both internationally and here in the U.S. I do believe when it comes to the economics of the game, as popularity keeps increasing it will lead to increased revenue and higher salaries in the women’s game, which is fantastic and what we all want to see. I am proud to be a part of a club that embraces equality, and I apologize for any distraction this has become for our team and organization.”

de Boer on his comments to The Guardian


“Today we achieved something very beautiful for the club, for the players.”

de Boer, after winning the U.S. Open Cup


“Of course it’s hard. Two years of playing the same way, which in return gave you results. Coming out as champions, winning the league in a deserving manner. When there was no reason to change, things changed.”

Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez before last year’s All-Star game in Orlando


“Yesterday I read the interviews. It looks like I’m unhappy. It’s not like that. Things are changing. This is true. We are different, but we are trying to do our best. I don’t have a problem with anybody.”

Gonzalez Pirez, the next day


“It’s a great goal. It’s very harsh. I had a feeling a little bit the same against Dallas when we were losing 2-0. I couldn’t put a finger on what we were doing wrong.

“We had a great season. We didn’t want it to end like this. We can look back very proud of what we achieved.”

de Boer after the loss to Toronto in the MLS playoffs


“In these three games and can even go back to the Club America game, that’s not who we are as a club. That’s not what we are about as a team. There’s got to be change. There’s got to be some sort of change on the field. There’s got to be communication, conversations, but then there has to be a response to that. It can’t just be talk talk talk, and then we get on the field and do the same thing we’ve been doing. This didn’t just happen in one game. This has happened for four games.”

Guzan, after Tuesday’s loss to Columbus


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

de Boer, after Tuesday’s loss to Columbus


“On behalf of Atlanta United, I would like to thank Frank for his leadership and commitment to the club. 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.”

Atlanta United President Darren Eales in a statement provided by the team.

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