ATLANTA — Atlanta United Sunday announced it has agreed a multi-year contract with Frank de Boer to become the club’s next head coach.
De Boer will succeed Tata Martino, who left the club to become Mexican national coach after directing United to the MLS Cup crown earlier this month/
A legendary Dutch player and coach, de Boer began his managerial career at Ajax, where he won a club-record four consecutive Eredivisie titles. He also had an illustrious playing career, spending more than 15 combined seasons at Ajax and FC Barcelona. De Boer will be formally introduced to the media before the start of the 2019 Major League Soccer season.
“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. “When we began our search, we were determined to find someone who fit all of our criteria. In addition to meeting our club’s core values, Frank’s philosophical views for how to play unequivocally aligns with ours. He also has a proven track record of developing youth players, with many of them going on to star for top European teams. Finally, his multilingual capabilities, including Spanish and English, ensure a smooth transition in the leadership of our club.”
A legendary player for club and country, de Boer retired from international football in 2004 and at the time was the most capped player in Dutch history. With 112 appearances over 15 years, de Boer helped lead the Netherlands into the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup and the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup. During the 1998 tournament, de Boer assisted Dennis Bergkamp’s game-winning goal in the 90th minute that defeated Argentina and placed the Dutch in the semifinals for the first time in 20 years. He still ranks third all-time in appearances in the federation’s history, surpassed by Wesley Sneijder and Edwin van der Sar.
“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.”
After retiring in 2006, de Boer entered coaching, beginning at the youth level at Ajax where he had starred as a professional for 11 seasons. While coaching at Ajax’s academy, known as one of the top developmental programs in all of Europe, de Boer was instrumental in the introduction and development of many youth players who went on to be distinguished players at club and international level. Because of his success, he soon took over as caretaker manager of the Ajax first team midway through the 2010-11 season. Led by numerous former academy players, his team found immediate success before ultimately winning the Eredivisie on the final day of the season, clinching the title by defeating runners-up FC Twente, 3-1.