The second-best team in MLS 2018 and reigning MLS Cup champion, Atlanta United, has given itself the early Christmas gift of a new head coach: welcome to MLS, Frank de Boer.
As a player, Frank de Boer won more than 100 caps for the Netherlands, league titles with Ajax and Barcelona, a full set of international club trophies (UEFA Champions League; UEFA Cup - the tournament supplanted by Europa League; UEFA Super Cup; Intercontinental Cup: all with Ajax), and played in a World Cup semifinal. As a coach, he’s been to a World Cup final (assistant manager with the Netherlands in 2010), and won four consecutive Eredivisie titles as Ajax’s head coach.
In other words, hiring Frank de Boer as a head coach of a soccer team is not at all a controversial decision. He stumbled a little after leaving Ajax, enduring short, unsuccessful stints with Inter and Crystal Palace. But few coaches or players get through an entire career without the occasional misstep. De Boer remains one of the most successful players and coaches of his generation, and there is no reason to believe there is anything lurking within MLS that might raise the specter of any past difficulties.
Welcome to MLS, Frank de Boer. This is not Serie A or EPL. Nothing to trip you up here.
A coach like Chris Armas of the New York Red Bulls will simply have no insight or prior knowledge to draw on when tasked with countering the elite footballing experience and know-how of Frank de Boer.
See you at Red Bull Arena soon, Frank de Boer.