Frank de Boer

Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

De Boer worries after Josef Martinez stretchered off for Atl Utd

Leave a comment

Josef Martinez saw the end of his remarkable 15-match MLS scoring streak on Sunday, and there’s a question of when he’ll be able to start a new one.

[ RECAP: Atl Utd 3-1 San Jose ]

Martinez was stretchered off the field late in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat of San Jose, and the Venezuelan super scorer’s status is unknown.

Atlanta manager Frank De Boer said at one point that he’s “afraid it’s something serious” in a reply to Spanish-speaking media, but was non-committal about the injury other than to express confidence the Five Stripes could find a solution in his absence.

“We know Josef a little bit. He’s a tough guy. He will not suddenly step off the field. He will have something, that’s for sure. But we have to wait. It’s too early to predict. But I think it’s not a good sign that he goes off. We have to deal with it. Again, we have to wait.”

Martinez was injured in the 79th minute of his third-start in seven days, and he went the distance in the first two. That’s a lot of soccer for a workhorse striker.

He has 76 goals in 81 MLS matches, and has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Atlanta’s alternatives include using Hector Villalba up top or hoping for the best from center forwards Brandon Vazquez, the 20-year-old with two goals in nine MLS appearances this season, and Romario Williams, who’s only played more than 15 minutes once since July and has one goal on the season.

Cross your fingers, Five Stripes.

Red-hot Martinez extends record as Atlanta edge Orlando (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 200 words (or less):  Josef Martinez remains unstoppable, scoring in a record 12 consecutive games. Throughout that span, the Venezuelan has recorded 17 goals, with one of those giving Atlanta United the 1-0 victory against rival Orlando City on Friday night. The talk of the league remain Carlos Vela – deservingly so – but Martinez continues to put together another superlative season. The Five Stripes, who have won five straight league games, continue on a positive trend, too. Worried after a slow start to the season under Frank De Boer, the defending MLS Cup champions regain the top position in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Orlando – winless in their last two – will look to bounce back quickly as they remain tied with seventh place Montreal.

Three moments that mattered

10′ — Tesho misses a clear one-on-one early on  — Tesho had everything going for him, but then he failed to finish.

60′ — Martinez continues to score  — Aside from Vela, no one has been more reliable than the Venezuelan when it comes to scoring goals.

88′ — Villalba nearly makes it two for Atlanta — The Five Stripes were this close of ending things early against their rivals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Miles Robinson

Goalscorers: Martinez (60′)

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

Getty Images
8 Comments

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.

Philadelphia Union teen pegs Atlanta back in 1-1 draw

Getty Images
3 Comments

18-year-old Philadelphia Union youth product Brenden Aaronson bagged his first MLS goal as they went to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and earned a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United.

Frank De Boer, new boss of the defending champions, has come under fire for the team’s poor start to the season, and Sunday’s result will only serve to feed the critics with new ammunition. Atlanta held upwards of 70% possession through the match, but generated just two total shots on target.

The best chance of the opening half for the home side came in the 37th minute as Pity Martinez burst down the left and fed Josef Martinez who made a run down the middle splitting the center-backs. Martinez stretched to reach it, but it was just too far. His slide took him into Andre Blake and left last year’s MVP in a heap, but he came back on after a lengthy treatment.

Philadelphia had its own chance down the other end moments later as Fabrice-Jean Picault got free down the center, one-on-one with the goalkeeper Brad Guzan who he shook with a touch to the right. He had an open goal to shoot at from a tight angle to the right, but Miles Robinson made it back to clear off the line.

The opener came just two minutes after the halftime break, Aaronson created his own chance out of nothing, not closed down at the top of the box and shooting past a rooted Brad Guzan. Frank de Boer would make a 67th minute substitution to bring on Ezequiel Barco, and that would pay dividends just three minutes later as Atlanta equalized on a blistering Barco header.

Philadelphia thought it would go a man up in the 92nd minute, but the referee gave only a yellow card to Leandro Gonzalez after taking down Corey Burke who was free on goal. The ensuing free-kick sailed just agonizing inches over the bar off the foot of Haris Medunjanin. The shared points moved Atlanta to just two points on the season through the first three matches, five off the Eastern Conference leaders already. Philadelphia, meanwhile, earned its first point of the campaign with the draw.

De Boer believes Atlanta fans should lower expectations

Getty Images
3 Comments

Under heavy disapproval of a poor start to his tenure in charge of Atlanta United, head coach Frank De Boer has looked to rebuff critics by telling fans they have been “spoiled” by the club’s early success.

The club opened its season with a 3-1 loss to Mexican club Herediano, and while they produced a massive 4-0 win in the second leg to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, but they slumped again in the first leg in a 3-0 defeat to Monterrey.

Their league start has also been a struggle. After losing to D.C. United to start the year, they drew 1-1 on Sunday with FC Cincinnati in a game that saw Atlanta go in front early but concede in the last few minutes, de Boer has heard the noise.

“Of course they [Atlanta fans] were a little spoiled with the results of last season,” De Boer said after the defeat to Cincinnati. “Everybody expected [similar results], and that’s also normal.”

De Boer believes the abrupt start to the season due to the continental competition has put them at a disadvantage, citing last season’s strugglers as an example.

“Everybody also saw what happened with Toronto when they played the [CONCACAF] Champions League last season. Out of nothing we were induced to play every three days a game, and now I think in 17 games we play five games or something like that. That’s a lot.”

Last season, after winning the MLS title the year before, Toronto FC reached the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League, but it appeared to have a taxing effect on their league campaign. They lost four of their first five MLS games and finished the year with the third-fewest points in the league.

When asked about fans booing the club, de Boer said it’s not fair to the players who have given their all to start the year.

“I don’t think it’s fair because I think everybody worked very hard for it and it’s not that they didn’t give 100%,” De Boer said. “They [Cincinnati] had their first chance in the 85th minute, so it’s very hard to concede a goal like that. Defensively we were standing very well in the last three, they did fantastic I think. I think it’s not fair to the team.”

Finally, de Boer said he thinks teams are beginning to adjust to Atlanta’s style, packing in defensively and forcing them to play a patient style of attack.

“It’s always very difficult against a team that plays so good organized with so many people in their own half,” de Boer said. “I played for a long time with Ajax and as a coach, teams expect you to just expect you to create chances and play in their own half. That’s the most difficult to play as a football team; everybody knows when you have space you can create more or in transition, but this when they drop very deep in their own half, we have to be secure with those individual actions sometimes and make some runs to create space and make them stretch, and hopefully you can get in between the lines. We have to accept that and have to understand what kind of moments when you have to play long and when you have to play in between the lines.”

Ultimately, telling fans they should expect less so early into a job is probably an ill-advised strategy. Given de Boer’s tendency to perform poorly early into recent jobs, including struggles in short tenures with Crystal Palace and Inter, it’s probably in his best interest to avoid telling Atlanta fans to accept losing.