The soccer news is back from the holiday break with Atlanta United announcing their new coach. Frank de Boer takes over from Tata Martino who most expect to become the next coach of Mexico's National Team. De Boer is best known for coaching Ajax to multiple Eredivisie titles before moving to Inter Milan and then Crystal Palace. As a player, de Boer was one of world soccer's elite defenders, winning the Champions League with Ajax and also playing for Barcelona. He had over a hundred appearances with the Dutch National Team.
"The club’s sportive ambitions, as set out in a long-term strategy to be the best in class, clearly fits my personal ambitions,” de Boer said. “I would like to build on the current success to develop a secure, solid foundation for the club at the top of MLS and beyond. Aside from the club’s ambitions, the values, culture and the philosophy for the entire organization are a vital part in realizing that point of success. This is exactly what I believe in as a person and as a coach. All of this combined, makes that I am really excited to be a part of it.”
United is in an interesting situation in advance of their third season. They're celebrating an MLS Cup win but going through a post-Martino transition. What this means for the club under de Boer is now the question. Ajax had some of the best talent available in the Eredivisie coalescing around four consecutive titles earlier this decade. Atlanta could produce a similar scenario in MLS, but it's going to take work after Martino's departure.
Atlanta is now looking at a 2019 where they may or may not have the player advantage in the Eastern Conference. Other teams are reloading and the future of several of Atlanta's key players are now in question. How Atlanta responds is the next step in a preseason that's becoming one of the most interesting in MLS. The reigning champions needing to show that they can remain among the league's elite.
Also in the soccer news, Timothy Weah announced that he will be looking for a loan deal in January. After a strong preseason and playing time early in the season, Weah stayed with PSG hoping for additional playing time. Given the strength of PSG's attackers with some of the biggest names in world soccer, that was always going to be difficult. ESPN has French radio linking Weah with Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Doug Roberson talks to club management about maintaining what works for United. Soccer America's Paul Gardner questions Atlanta United's choice. MLSsoccer's Dylan Butler talked to Tyler Adams about the USMNT. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Patrick Brennan interviews FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch.
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