Former Gala star to coach MLS champion Atlanta

Published 25.12.2018 01:13
Updated 25.12.2018 08:00

Major League Soccer champion Atlanta United have named retired Dutch star Frank de Boer as the club's new coach, replacing Argentina's Gerardo Martino. The 48-year-old Dutchman guided his former club Ajax to four consecutive Dutch league titles but less successful stints followed at Inter Milan and England's Crystal Palace.

De Boer, who kicked off his career in Ajax's youth team, joined Turkish outfit Galatasaray from Barcelona in 2013 for one season before signing with Rangers FC.

After announcing last October that he was leaving Atlanta, Martino said the grind of a club campaign kept him from going home as much as he wanted. But he has been linked to the Mexican national team.

De Boer takes over on Jan. 1 with United set for a pre-season match on Jan. 14 and a CONCACAF Champions League campaign that begins in February.

"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."

De Boer lasted only 85 days at Inter Milan after losing four of five Serie A matches and was gone after 10 weeks from Crystal Palace after a 0-4 start in the 2017-18 Premier League.

"Frank de Boer has a distinguished background, both as manager and player, and we're ecstatic to welcome him to our club," Atlanta United President Darren Eales said.

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