Frank De Boer

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Atlanta United wins Campeones Cup as Josef Martinez comes through

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If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. That is how Josef Martinez proceeded through the 90 minutes at Mercedes Benz Stadium, missing a first-half penalty and seeing a close-range effort saved after the break, but he delivered the winning blow with a 65th minute spot-kick to see Atlanta United over Club America 3-2 to win the Campeones Cup.

Atlanta United went in front early thanks to Bournemouth loanee Emerson Hyndman who put Atlanta United up inside the opening five minutes. A fabulous flick by Dion Pereira sent Hyndman through who finished one-touch inside the far post past Oscar Jimenez.

The home side was dominant on the ball, holding 60% possession through the first 45 minutes. Club America, however, remained dangerous when countering, and they struck back just minutes later through Roman Ibarra who roofed the equalizer. The goal came off fabulous work by Roger Martinez who corralled a hot pass from Andres Ibarguen down the left and worked his way down to the end line and along the edge before rifling a ball across the face of goal to Ibarra waiting at the far post for a thumping finish.

Atlanta United had a glorious opportunity to go in front after VAR forced a review of an incident in the box and a penalty was given for a foul by Bruno Valdez who clumsily hacked down Pity Martinez. Josef Martinez stepped up but his unorthodox run-up failed to produce a result as Jimenez saved the poor effort and the charging defense thwarted any rebound effort.

After the break, the two sides had good chances, with Josef Martinez missing a glorious opportunity soon after the restart as he trickled a breakaway shot wide left. Roger Martinez put Club America in front just before the hour mark on a corner as Atlanta goalkeeper Alec Kahn failed to judge the delivery right at the goal mouth and Martinez poked the effort in from point-blank range.

The lead wouldn’t last long – two minutes to be exact – as Jeff Larentowicz produced a piledriver from well outside the box and the effort took a deflection off the head of Carlos Vargas, seeing the ball sail into the top corner past a rooted Jimenez. The goal brought a sheepish smile from Frank De Boer as Mercedes Benz Stadium lit up.

Josef Martinez nearly put Atlanta in front minutes later, but Jimenez saved spectacularly with the goal gaping on Pereira’s scything cutback. He got another chance moments later, though, as Florentin Pogba was barged over by Guido Rodriguez, a blatant penalty. Martinez this time delivered a blistering effort from the spot, putting Atlanta United up 3-2 with a firecracker into the top-left corner.

The home side took firm control from that point, first coming close again via Pity Martinez who delivered a stunning free-kick that was athletically headed off the line by Valdez. The Paraguayan defender would not last much longer on the pitch, however, as he dragged down Josef Martinez on the break to earn his second yellow card and a sending off with 18 minutes to go.

The Club America meltdown was complete when manager Miguel Herrera and an assistant were both shown yellow cards by the official for dissent on the touchline, and the boss took some time to calm down as he gesticulated wildly. Club America threw goalkeeper Jimenez for a final corner effort, but it was a poor delivery and the final whistle blew to crown Atlanta United the first Campeones Cup winners from Major League Soccer.

Frank de Boer calls equal pay at international level ‘ridiculous’

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The Atlanta United manager has given his frank opinion on the US Women’s National Team’s fight for equal pay.

In an interview with The Guardian, Frank De Boer called the concept of equal pay between men’s and women’s teams “ridiculous,” saying that women don’t deserve to be paid the same as men because they don’t “deserve” it based on viewership.

“I think for me, it’s ridiculous,” De Boer said in the interview. “It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”

In the United States, the women sued the national association in March for gender discrimination due to pay and investment differentials. De Boer says that while equal pay should exist throughout society, women should make the same only when – according to him – it’s earned.

“I think it started because a woman [was] getting underpaid, especially at [managerial] positions,” he said. “They have to earn the same as a man. I think if you have a manager position for a bank or something, you have to earn the same what the men did because it’s not physically, just only here [points to head], so why do you have to earn less, because you’re doing the same job as a man? I think that’s also dropped a little bit into the sports world, like tennis and soccer. But I think that’s still different.”

In de Boer’s home country of the Netherlands, where the women reached the final of the Women’s World Cup this past summer, the national association agreed to a new contract where the women will receive yearly raises for the next five years until their pay reaches the same level as the men.

In the U.S., the Women’s World Cup final featuring the USWNT drew 22% more viewers than the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia. The WWC final was the most-watched soccer match in the country since the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. Women on the U.S. National Team could earn a maximum of about $261,000, while a male player on the World Cup squad can earn about $1,115,000.

Record crowd sees ATLUTD cruise past Zlatan-less Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): It’s tough to win on the road when you concede a pair of own goals before halftime, a lesson duly noted by the LA Galaxy as Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side was handily beaten by defending champions Atlanta United in front of a regular-season record crowd of 72,548 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The visitors were without superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspended) and managed just four shots on targets over 90 minutes (all four came inside the game’s opening 25 minutes). After starting the season slowly under new head coach Frank De Boer, have turned things around and summited the Eastern Conference standings. LA, meanwhile, have just three wins from their last eight games (five losses) and could tumble from third to fifth place in the Western Conference before the weekend is over.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Pity forces the own goal by Romney — Own goal no. 1.

43′ — Josef lurks and forces Gonzalez into a desperate situation — Own goal no. 2.

72′ — Martinez ties his own record with a penalty kick — Josef Martinez showed lingering effects of his tragic penalty attempt of two weeks ago.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Romney (23′ – OG), Gonzalez (43′ – OG), Martinez (72′ – PK)

Pity proves his point as Atlanta tops DCU late (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez started on the bench, deemed by head coach Frank De Boer as an subpar performer in recent weeks, largely due to a perceived lack of defensive work rate. For the 65 minutes that Martinez sat on the bench, Atlanta United sorely lacked the creative spark required to break down D.C. United. Seven minutes after Martinez came on, Atlanta had themselves a penalty kick (it was missed), and the defending MLS Cup champions eventually scored twice in the game’s final minutes to wrap up a victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and climb over DCU for second place in the Eastern Conference standings, now just three points back of first-place Philadelphia Union. De Boer won the battle in putting Martinez on the bench, but Martinez appears to have won the (highly important) war of public opinion.

[ MORE: MLS Saturday wrap: Quakes keep firing; Toronto, SKC falter ]

Four moments that mattered

33′ — Guzan denies Arriola one on one — Luciano Acosta slotted a pair of perfect through balls to Paul Arriola in a very short period, but neither resulted in a goal. Arriola deferred with a cross on the first and was denied by Brad Guzan after taking one too many touches before firing his shot. Chances wasted in a game with very few of them for DCU.

72′ — Martinez skies his penalty — Josef Martinez has one of the stranger penalty run-ups, complete with a hop, skip and a jump before striking the ball. The goal, presumably, is to force the goalkeeper to commit one way with the unorthodox movement, and easily slide the ball home the other way. What happens when the ‘keeper doesn’t budge, as Bill Hamid didn’t here? Ah…

89′ — The “other” Martinez wins it late — Darlington Nagbe made a great run, which was rewarded by Julian Gressel, before floated the ball toward the back post, which feels like something that will definitely be lost in all of the talk about narrative revolving around Pity and De Boer.

90’+2 — Martinez to Martinez for the nail in the coffin — How’s that for an impact substitution? Also, how’s that for a freebie do-over following the botched penalty?

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Man of the match: Pity Martinez

Goalscorers: G. Martinez (89′), J. Martinez (90’+2)

MLS Wrap: Atlanta United, Revolution thrash opponents

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It was a night of routs in MLS as both Atlanta United and the New England Revolution came away as huge winners.

Atlanta United thrashed ten-man Houston Dynamo, 5-0, while the Revs took out the Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-0. Toronto FC outlasted the New York Red Bulls with a 3-1 victory at home, while Columbus earned a point thanks to a 90th minute goal.

Here’s a rundown of today’s action, and what we learned from it.


Atlanta United 5-0 Houston Dynamo

Atlanta United dominated the match on Wednesday, but they got an assist from a poor decision from Alberth Elis. The Honduran forward, while arguing with the referee after being shown a yellow card, appeared to bump into the referee. Immediately, the referee reached into his back pocket and pulled out a red card, just six minutes into the match.

That really put Houston on the back foot and led to relentless pressure from Atlanta. First it was Darlington Nagbe and Brandon Vasquez scoring in the box. Then Josef Martinez scored a brace before Julian Gressel, who’s cross set up the opener, put the finishing touches on the match.

It was a rare bright spot for Atlanta United fans in what’s been an up and down season. However, it seems that Frank De Boer has figured this team out, and is starting to get some strong results.


New England Revolution 4-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

What once seemed impossible – the Revolution making the playoffs in 2019 – now seems like it could happen.

Bruce Arena’s Midas touch continued on Wednesday as the Revolution routed the Whitecaps, 4-0. Revs new signing Gustavo Bou opened the scoring, but it was Carles Gill, Teal Bunburry and Diego Fagundez who all found the scoresheet.

Since Arena’s arrival in New England, the Revolution has lost just once. The club’s current form is what’s keeping them alive in the playoff picture.

Other MLS scores

Toronto FC 3-1 New York Red Bulls

Chicago Fire 2-2 New York Red Bulls