Atlanta United Fires Head Coach Gabriel Heinze after 8-Game Losing Streak

Gabriel Heinze with Argentina in 2010
Gabriel Heinze with Argentina in 2010. Photo by Ben Queenborough/Shutterstock

The Atlanta United have lost patience with head coach Gabriel Heinze, recently deciding to fire the Argentinian just 17 games into his tenure. The decision was made after a 0-1 loss to New England over the weekend, which extended Atlanta’s winless streak to eight games.

Assistant Rob Valentino, who has been with the organization since 2018, will take over as interim head coach until the team finds a permanent solution for the position.

According to an official statement made by Atlanta United President Darren Eales, poor results on the field were not the only reason why the team parted ways with Heinze. A number of “issues relating to the day-to-day leadership” have also led to the decision.

“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,” said Eales. “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.”

Multiple reports indicate that Gabriel Heinze’s downfall started a lot earlier. He had a hard time convincing players to buy into his playing style from the get-go, and many of them were unhappy with his training methods and tactical demands. His clash with star striker Josef Martinez, whom he froze out from the first team, also didn’t help.

Heinze was hired by Atlanta back in December, arriving at the club after a successful tenure with Velez Sarsfield. During his seven months at the helm, he compiled a 4-5-8 record in all competitions, including a 2-4-7 record in MLS, which has United sitting 10th in the East.