Atlanta won only twice in 13 games under Gabriel Heinze this season. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

After directing the team to only two wins in its opening 13 matches, Atlanta United Sunday fired Gabriel Heinze as head coach.

Assistant coach Rob Valentino was named interim head coach of the 2-4-7 team, which is in 10th place out in the MLS Eastern Conference.

A variety of issues relating to the day-to-day leadership of the team led the club to this decision, according to a club statement.

The last straw was a 1-0 home defeat to the first-place New England Revolution before a crowd of 42,517 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday night.

“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,” team 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 was named Atlanta coach in 2020 after 2 1/2 years at Argentine club Velez Sarsfield.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at