ATLANTA, GEORGIA—After a poor season, Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank appeared on the team’s flagship radio show, 92.9 The Game, to discuss the squad as we start the lengthy offseason. In his comments, Blank appeared to support head coach Gonzalo Pineda, although he openly acknowledged that the team’s hiring process and “people” are being scrutinized.
“We don’t play the matches to lose… We think we have a bright young coach moving in the right direction. We are assessing other areas of the club, like scouting and personnel, that we think are important,” Blank said. The team’s Vice President of Soccer Operations, Carlos Bocanegra, will immediately come to mind for every fan who is even the slightest bit interested in the team (and doubtless everyone reading this). Bocanegra is in charge of all sporting matters and directly influences the specific facets of the club that Blank mentioned.
Darren Eales’ replacement is still sought after by interim president Steve Cannon, thus, the squad is still without a full-time top executive. Bocanegra now has even more accountability and responsibility due to the team’s disastrous season, which saw them tie for the 5th-worst record in MLS in terms of points scored in 2022.
Knowing that Blank is concerned about the team’s recent troubles reassures fans. Atlanta has only participated in one playoff game in the three years since Toronto FC eliminated them from the 2019 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Final, a 2-0 road loss to New York City FC last year under Pineda. Mid-November, following the conclusion of the MLS Cup, is when Atlanta United is most likely to reveal a set of squad changes for the season’s finish.