Atlanta United fires coach Heinze after disappointing start – Miami Herald

Atlanta United coach Gabriel Heinze, right, reacts to a play as Nashville SC defender Nick Hinds, left, and Atlanta defender George Bello (21) vie for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Atlanta United coach Gabriel Heinze, right, reacts to a play as Nashville SC defender Nick Hinds, left, and Atlanta defender George Bello (21) vie for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Mark Humphrey AP

ATLANTA

Atlanta United’s disappointing 2021 record has cost coach Gabriel Heinze his job.

Atlanta United fired Heinze on Sunday. Assistant coach Rob Valentino was named interim head coach.

Atlanta United said “a variety of issues relating to the day-to-day leadership of the team” led to the change. Certainly the team’s record was a factor. Atlanta United is 2-4-7 and 10th in the Eastern Conference.

“This was certainly not a decision we wanted to make at this point in our season, but it was the right one for the club,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement.

“Gabi is a talented coach and is undeniably passionate about his craft and the sport of soccer. We are grateful to him for his service and wish him all the best in the future.”

Heinze joined Atlanta United in 2020 after less than three full years at Argentine club Velez Sarsfield.