On Sunday, Atlanta United fired head coach Gabriel Heinze after just 17 games in charge but with only four total wins to show for it. But some disturbing details about his tenure in Atlanta have recently emerged.
According to Doug McIntyre of FOX Sports, Heinze would deny players their union-mandated days off. Per the report, the MLS Player’s Association (MLSPA) has filed a grievance with the league for violations of their CBA.
But even more disturbingly, Heize allegedly limited the amount of water his players could drink during preseason practices. Doctors were reportedly forced to intervene in some circumstances.
Whether the allegations are true or not, Heinze’s “strategies” did not translate into wins. In 17 games for the club, Atlanta United won four, lost five and tied in eight.
Perhaps is most controversial decision was to bench former MLS MVP Josef Martinez and make him train away from the team. Heinze won just two of 13 games in MLS.
Not only did ex-Atlanta United coach Gabriel Heinze deny players CBA-mandated days off, he limited the amount of water they could drink during preseason practices, forcing the club’s medical staff to intervene, multiple sources told @FOXSports: https://t.co/CHfm8wPPgy
— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) July 19, 2021
Atlanta United may not have been the first place that Heinze allegedly utilized such “mandates” with his players though.
Journalist Pablo Carrozza alleges that some of Heinze’s players at the Argentine club Velez Sarsfield who suffered from eating disorders were made to go to sleep without having dinner to keep their weight down.
Acusan a Heinze de limitar la cantidad de agua que podían beber los jugadores de Atlanta United en las prácticas y de negarles días libres. En Vélez hubo futbolistas con trastornos alimentarios, que se iban a dormir sin cenar para no subir un gramo. Lo vi yo. No me lo contaron.
— Pablo Carrozza (@pablocarrozza) July 19, 2021
Tweet translated from Spanish by Google:
They accuse Heinze of limiting the amount of water Atlanta United players could drink in practice and denying them days off. In Vélez there were soccer players with eating disorders, who went to sleep without dinner so as not to gain a gram. I saw it. They didn’t tell me.
Atlanta currently sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference MLS standings with 13 points in 13 games. They’ve gone winless in their last eight games.
Assistant Coach Rob Valentino is slated to take over as interim coach.