Stephen Glass returning as Atlanta United 2′s manager

October 7, 2020 Atlanta - Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja (left) and Atlanta United interim head coach Stephen Glass talk to Atlanta United midfielder JŸrgen Damm (22) in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The game ended with the score 0-0. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
October 7, 2020 Atlanta - Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja (left) and Atlanta United interim head coach Stephen Glass talk to Atlanta United midfielder JŸrgen Damm (22) in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The game ended with the score 0-0. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Stephen Glass, who was tasked with trying to turn around Atlanta United’s season in 2020, will return to the franchise as Atlanta United 2′s manager, a person with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.

When Glass was appointed as the team’s interim manager in July, Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said the plan was for Glass to return to Atlanta United 2, which he began managing before 2019, when a manager was named. Bocanegra repeated that was the plan a few times during the season.

In his last interview as Atlanta United’s manager, Glass said that he had ambition, raising the possibility that he may seek a higher-profile opportunity in the offseason, and that he was interested in interviewing for the Atlanta United job.

Atlanta United named Gabriel Heinze as its manager in December.

Glass took over as Atlanta United’s interim manager in July following the team’s three-game winless and scoreless streak at the MLS tournament in Orlando under previous manager Frank de Boer.

The team was 2-3 at that point. The club finished 6-13-4.

Glass was handed a difficult task. Not only did he not have striker Josef Martinez, who suffered a season-ending injury in the first league game, he had to lead the club through the COVID-19 stops-and-starts protocols and other changes to the MLS season. He also saw one of the club’s Designated Players, Pity Martinez, sold in early September. Martinez was replaced by Marcelino Moreno, who was new to MLS. All of this came with Glass not having time to work with the team in consistent training sessions because once the season resumed there were games every few days for most of the final months.

Glass also tried to lead the club through numerous injuries, including to Ezequiel Barco, another of the club’s Designated Players.

Glass and his coaching staff were repeatedly praised by Bocanegra, President Darren Eales and the players for their work ethic and preparation.

Though the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, Glass helped develop Jon Gallagher, saw Brooks Lennon post quality stats in goals (2) and assists (3), found a way to quickly incorporate Moreno into the lineup, and, by season’s end had the team playing well after finally getting time to work with the team in training camp atmospheres. Glass’ last game in charge saw the club defeat Club America in the second leg of its Champions League series.

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