MLS- Atlanta

Atlanta United hires Gerardo 'Tata' Martino as first head coach


Following weeks of reports, Atlanta United finally got their man.

Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that the club has hired former Barcelona and Argentina manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino as the club’s first head coach. Martino most recently took charge of La Albiceleste at this past summer’s Copa American before resigning following Argentina’s penalty kick loss to Chile in the tournament finale.

“I’m very happy to join Atlanta United as the first head coach in club history” Martino said. “This is an exciting time for MLS and I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading a team in an evolving league.  Atlanta United is a first-rate organization, and I’m very eager to get working and build one of the top clubs in MLS.”

In addition to his time with Argentina, Martino took charge of Paraguay from 2006-11. During his time in charge, Martino was named 2007 South American Coach of the Year while also leading Paraguay to the Round of 16 at the 2008 World Cup.

Following a stint with Argentinian club Newell’s Old Boys, Martino joined Barcelona in 2013. He managed the club for just one season as Martino resigned after finishing three points behind Atletico Madrid for the La Liga title.

Martino had been linked with the Atlanta United job for several weeks, with reports stating that the 53-year-old manager turned down interest from Club America in favor of a move to the expansion side.

“Gerardo’s teams have always been organized and have displayed a fast and fluid style that aligns with how we intend to play,” said Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “He’s also demonstrated a commitment to youth soccer, consistently proving his ability to enhance the progression of younger players. He’s a great fit for our club and I look forward to working with him to build a successful club.”

    • don Lamb

      I think he’s already made comments suggesting that he likes the somewhat even playing field that the salary cap provides so that he and his tactics can really make a difference.


      • Adam

        in theory, yes an even playing field works, but only when all players on the team have a minimum proficiency level. in reality, we’re talking about few world class players taking the field with 4th round supplemental draft players out of college (exaggeration yes, but you get the point). you can’t teach tactics without technique….


  • the TX 2 Stepper

    A little “splashy” but I ain’t mad! Can’t wait to fly home for the opener!!


    Liked by 1 person

  • Old School

    Very interesting, but I’ll be more interested in hearing some journalists ask for his thoughts and knowledge on the MLS system.


    • the TX 2 Stepper

      I’m not sure that they are hiring him for his acumen on the “MLS System”. It seems that his job is to coach a team, develop an academy that brings up the youth … Boca will do the heavy lifting of MLS and American soccer culture. This could be a dream tandem if he is fully devoted to on field and Boca does the Admin thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Azziz

    The honeymoon will be over after the first practice when he realizes his players are nothing like Barca’s.
    I hope he got paid upfront.


  • colininmt

    I don’t pretend to know anything about Martino other than that he coached Barca and Argentina. I for one, however, am excited by his hiring and the potential it has to expand the soccer pyramid in this country. I love that so many MLS coaches have direct MLS experience. Developing quality coaches at all levels will only enhance player development in this country. At the same time, bringing in coaches with new ideas, methods, and experiences has the potential to also expand and improve player development. Granted, I said the exact same thing when Houston hired Owen Coyle, so . . .


  • TheFrenchOne

    Why do some people presume Martino did not do his research before signing what I assume is a very lucrative contract? You really think he will be surprised that the caliber of players will not be anywhere near Barca’s? If anything, if Atlanta has a successful opening season, much of the praise will go to the coach. If Atlanta underperforms (I don’t think that’s actually possible for an expansion team), everyone will say that this was expected.

    I won’t be an Atlanta United fan, but I appreciate when owners go for the best caliber coach they can find. I only see positives here. I mean, who are people clamoring for, Sigi…?


  • danielofthedale

    I am super excited by this hire! Yes its a risk bringing in a coach with no experience with MLS, but the guy has proven to be a very good at all the stops along the way. He could flame out, but he could also be very successful and bring some exciting and entertaining soccer as well. I can’t wait for next year!


  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    Most that seems opposed or baffled by the move, say the players in MLS should want more of a challenge and should go to Europe, but when a coach who coached Barca, with most games guaranteed victories, goes to MLS where the playing field is very level and the challenge game in and game out is way bigger? Nope, go to Europe for him too.

    Almost like they don’t like MLS.

    Good for Atlanta. Someday the haters will be acting like they loved soccer in the US all along.


  • Gary Page

    considering his resume, I’m pretty amazed that Atlanta was able to get him. He can’t come cheap. While most foreign coaches haven’t worked out very well, Patrick Viera seems to be doing well with a new team, so it should be interesting.


    • esco2016

      There was a recent MLS article about Viera’s success. It brought up his coaching from a development first mentality before joining NYCFC which seems to have made transitioning to MLS easier since he has done a good job getting the young lower tier players to contribute.


  • bizzy

    “Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that the club has hired former Barcelona and Argentina manager……” enough said as far as qualifications lol


    • TheFrenchOne

      No, he probably doesn’t. I’m guessing that the guy who coached both Barca and Argentina does not do his homework before signing a new contract… SMH.

      Not sure what this coaching hire has to do with MLS allowing an expansion team to play on turf, but ok…


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