ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The new interim head coach of the Atlanta United FC has vowed to do his best to re-ignite the winning ways of the team in the wake of their recent string of draws and defeat.
In a media interview, Rob Valentino also revealed that aside from turning the fortune around of United FC, he will also spend more time and effort to foster a better relationship with his players.
“I care about those boys in there. I care about the club,” Valentino said.
“I want to see them succeed. I want to see them happy. I want to see smiles on their faces,” Valentino added.
Mentoring players is not new for Valentino since he also mentored the promising young players of United FC namely George Bello and Miles Robinson who are now part of the United States Men’s Soccer team (USMNT).
“There’s more to these guys than just being athletes,” he said.
Valentino said he is not worried that his position is just temporary as he vowed to do his best to help the team succeed and develop the team’s young players.
Aiding Valentino in this effort will be Matt Lawry (Academy Director), Jack Kimber (First-team Fitness Coach), Ryan Alexander (Director of Sports Science), Liam Curran (Goalkeepers Coach), and 2s Head Coach Jack Collison who will assist in joint training activities between the two teams.
Valentino got the interim coach job after United FC President Darren Eales on Monday decided to relieve Heinze of his duties as the top bench tactician of the team due to some leadership issues in handling the team.
“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,” 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,” Eales added.
Heinze joined Atlanta United in 2020 after two-and-a-half years at Argentine club Velez Sarsfield. He led Atlanta United to a 2-4-7 record to date for the 2021 MLS Regular Season.
In the ongoing MLS season, United FC is struggling not only due to the absence of some of its top players due to injuries but the way they play against the other teams this year.