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.”