AP NEWS

United coach de Boer apologizes for calling fans “spoiled”

March 14, 2019
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March 10, 2019 Atlanta: Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer gives midfielder Pity Martinez a pat on the back as he pulls him from the game during the second half against FC Cincinnati in their MLS soccer match on Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Frank de Boer has apologized for calling Atlanta United fans “spoiled.”

The first-year Atlanta coach issued the apology ahead of Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Monterrey. A native of the Netherlands, he says the word has a different connotation in his homeland. He says he merely meant to imply that United fans have high expectations for a team that won the MLS Cup last season.

De Boer called the fans “a little bit spoiled” after defending MLS champion United gave up a late goal in its home opener Sunday against FC Cincinnati, resulting in a 1-1 tie against the expansion team. There were boos at the final whistle.

After replacing Tata Martino, de Boer is off to a rocky start in Atlanta. The team had one win and one draw through its first five MLS and Champions League games and faced a daunting three-goal deficit in the return leg of its quarterfinal match against Rayados.

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