Atlanta United hires Paul McDonough as Vice President of Soccer Operations


Atlanta United today announced Paul McDonough is re-joining the club’s front office as Vice President of Soccer Operations, effective Feb. 1. McDonough served in the same capacity with the club from 2016-18 before leaving to lead then-expansion Inter Miami FC as Sporting Director. McDonough brings more than 20 years of experience, including the last seven within MLS.

“Paul was a key part of our team as we built Atlanta United and we’re delighted to have him back in the organization,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “Thanks to his experience across all levels of American soccer, Paul brings a vast knowledge of the game, but more importantly he is a great cultural fit who complements our front office. Similar to his previous role with the club, Paul will report to Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra and take on a leading role in managing our player salary cap.”

McDonough will continue to be responsible for navigating Major League Soccer’s salary cap restrictions, while helping Eales and Bocanegra recruit players through various different acquisition mechanisms. During his previous tenure, McDonough helped assemble Atlanta’s inaugural roster that became one of the most prolific attacks in MLS history. In its first season, Atlanta finished tied for fifth all-time in goals scored in a single-season (70) and fourth all-time in goal differential (+30). McDonough was also a key part of the team that helped oversee the development of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, including its design, construction and operations. 

“A lot more goes into building a professional soccer club than simply assembling a roster,” Bocanegra said. “Paul has a skillset that effectively touches all areas of the club and it complements the staff we have in place.”

As Sporting Director in Miami, McDonough played a leading role in several areas, including taking on the COO role in January 2020 and managing the business operations of the club. He led the implementation and design of its state-of-the art Training Complex and re-design of its temporary home venue, Inter Miami CF Stadium and assembled the club’s expansion roster, its youth Academy and USL League One team. Prior to joining Atlanta in 2016, McDonough served as Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations with Orlando City SC, helping the club transition from USL to its inaugural season in MLS. Prior to that, McDonough spent two years as Director of Global Soccer with Wasserman Media Group where he represented professional soccer players in MLS and abroad. He began his career in collegiate coaching, serving as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University, the University of South Carolina and the University of Connecticut. 

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