Atlanta United has announced Gabriel Heinze as the team’s new manager for the next two seasons. After the Five Stripes parted ways with Frank De Boer, the team played out the rest of the 2020 season with interim head coach Stephen Glass. Heinze will become the third manager in the club’s history.
“This is a milestone moment in Atlanta United history, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Gabriel as our next head coach,” Club President Darren Eales said. “We cast the net widely for this important hire, and Gabriel quickly emerged as the No. 1 candidate. Gabriel is one of the top coaches in South American soccer and we are delighted that he chose Atlanta United. Whilst his resume speaks for itself, Gabriel’s playing philosophy and commitment to youth development closely align with our ideas at Atlanta United, and we are happy to welcome him as we move into our club’s next chapter.”
Heinze, an Argentina native, began his coaching career in 2014 with Godoy Cruz. Two years later, he took over Argentinos Juniors in the second division and led the team back to the first division, after finishing the season with 88 points out of 44 matches.
Afterwards, he took over Velez Sarsfield and guided them to a third-place finish, the highest finish for the team since the 2013-14 season.
“Since we launched Atlanta United, our objective has been clear to play an aggressive, attack-minded style of play,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “Gabriel fits that mold and has a dynamic playing style that aligns with the identity of our club, which is what we were specifically looking for in our next head coach. We’re excited to get him into Atlanta and to get to work on a promising 2021 season.”
Heinze’s playing career began in 1996 Newell’s Old Boys and went on to play in clubs such as Real Valladolid, Paris St. Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid. He also represented the Argentina National Team 73 times and played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, helping the team reach the quarterfinals both times.
Heinze also helped Argentina win the Gold Medal in the Summer Olympics in 2004. The Argentine defender scored in the opening match and he helped the team not concede a goal during the entire tournament.