Alan Franco has been able to cement his status as a defensive stalwart at Atlanta United thereby propelling the Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.


Gabriel Heinze masterminded the signing of his compatriot, Alan Franco, at Atlanta United in the opening weeks of his managerial tenure. Argentine tactician Gabriel Heinze was sacked as the Atlanta United manager after a series of poor results. The ex-Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Manchester United defender was sacked in mid-July as his time at Atlanta United lasted for just seven months.

Since the exit of Gabriel Heinze at Atlanta United, Alan Franco has started the majority of the MLS games at the club.Argentine defender Francostarted 20 of the last 21 MLS matches before the regular season ended at the weekend. During that time, Atlanta United have lost just five matches, winning 11 of their 13 wins. In addition, the Five Stripes kept seven clean sheets in comparison with just three in their first 13 games.

Alan Franco has been able to show himself as a quality defender for the Five Stripes in the absence of Gabriel Heinze. He had earlier struggled at the club while Heinze was still in charge. Franco was not a regular under Heinze and he was mostly used when Atlanta United are trying to hold on to a lead. He’s one of several players who have benefitted from the exit of Heinze.

Alan Franco was signed as a designated player (DP) earlier in the year and it was a surprise that he could not displace either Miles Robinson, an homegrown talent in the United States national team, or Anton Walkes, one of the lower-paid players at the club, while Gabriel Heinze was still the man in the Atlanta United dugout.

Gonzalo Pineda and Rob Valentino are the ones in charge of the Atlanta United first team squad these days.