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 quarterfinal second-leg match against Monterrey, which his team won 1-0 only to exit the competition 3-1 on aggregate.
The Netherlands native said the word has a different connotation in his homeland. He said 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 draw against the expansion team that drew boos from supporters 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, before the victory over Monterrey on Wednesday.
Atlanta hosts the Philadelphia Union at Mercedes-Benz stadium at 7 p.m. ET on March 17 (streaming live on ESPN+).