Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer has questioned the value of 9 a.m. starts in the humidity and heat of Central Florida at the MLS is Back Tournament.
The Five Stripes fell 1-0 to FC Cincinnati on Thursday morning after going down to 10 players in the 26th minute, after Jake Mulraney was sent off for his second bookable offense. Frankie Amaya netted the winner for Cincinnati in the 76th minute.
De Boer accepted that the sending off threw his match plans "overboard" and felt Atlanta had control, until Amaya's long range goal, but wasn't happy to have played so early in the morning.
"I also wanted to say that if you see this game at 9 O'clock, I think, for everyone, it is not worth it, to play in these kinds of conditions," said De Boer in the postgame video press conference. "You saw the tempo was really, really slow. Even though it was 11 against 10 it was really slow.
"There's no benefit for the supporters that watch it and also for the players because circumstances were really tough today. We have to really think if it is good when we play in these certain times with this heat."
De Boer said eating breakfast as the pregame meal at 6 a.m. is something that has "never happened in my life" and suggested the players were more comfortable playing later on.
"During the night, everyone felt quite comfortable, still it's hard, [but] it's different," he said. "We really have to think about these kinds of games, especially if we want to entertain people, that's what sport is about, of course to win and to see good games. I can imagine for supporters it's not a game that they're going to watch back."
Atlanta United lost its opening MLS is Back game against New York Red Bulls 1-0 and is now on zero points from its first two Group E matches. It will need a victory over the Columbus Crew on Tuesday to have a shot at reaching the round of 16.
The former Ajax manager said he wasn't concerned with the team's failure to score so far in the tournament, pointing out the team created enough chances against the Red Bulls, and backed the character of his players.