Major League Soccer side Atlanta United announced Rob Valentino as interim manager after leaving Gabriel Heinze on Monday.
After only 13 games, the Argentine manager left Atlanta behind with two league wins and a very public dispute with star striker Josef Martinez.
The club promoted former assistant coach Rob Valentino to take over when the search for a new coach begins. Despite the sudden shift to the spotlight, Valentino is no stranger to high-pressure situations. He now has a day before he was on the side as Atlanta United’s interim coach when the club meets FC Cincinnati on Wednesday at TQL Stadium.
“Job number one is to get everyone on the same page, everyone to know their roles and responsibilities,” Valentino told the media on Monday. “We have a match on Wednesday. It’s the best – there are games. We can get into it and hopefully get positive results.”
Valentino’s leadership career began with Orlando City B after playing as a defender in the MLS, USL and NASL. In 2019, he was called up to serve under Frank de Boer in Atlanta. Following the club’s latest announcement, ex-players and MLS votes came in support of Valentino and his new position.
Temporary head coach Rob Valentino speaks on the way forward.
– Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) July 19, 2021
“I told the boys this morning that I hope I bring the human element,” Valentino said. “When it comes to tactics, I will do my best. We will all do our best to turn the results around. Take more risks, create more chances, score more goals and win matches. But in the end, we are dealing with people. We have to do with people. ”
The human component is particularly emphasized after reports of Heinze’s harsh treatment of his players increased. Several sources including Yahoo Sports and Fox Sports reported that Heinze committed a plethora of violations of collective agreements in addition to restricting a player’s water intake during training.
“We are humans. We want to interact with people, “Valentino said. I do not want them to think that I only care about them as athletes, there is more to them. They are good athletes, but they are good guys.
When a reporter asked Valentino about his job on the campaign, the new interim coach suffocated before expressing any feelings. He quoted the club’s past before commenting on the present and future.
Former Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze / Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
“I had mixed feelings, really,” Valentino said. “It’s never easy to see someone lose their job. I’ve been there for six or seven years, it’s never easy when you see it. Personally, I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of work to do, but I care. “About the boys. I care about the club. I want to see them succeed, I want to see them happy, I want to see them with smiles on their faces.”