After weeks of speculation about Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s future, Atlanta United announced the manager won’t be back for a third season.
Martino declined a contract extension with the club amid rumors he’s joining Mexico as its new manager after the Major League Soccer season.
“This was not an easy decision to make, I have enjoyed my time with Atlanta United very much and am proud of what we have accomplished together in such a short time,” Martino said in a club release.
“The decision was not made for financial reasons, negotiations with the front office were transparent and fair. It was simply the right move for me and my family at this time. The opportunity to build a team from the start does not come along often, and I am grateful to the club and to the fans for putting their trust in me to establish a solid foundation here in Atlanta. What is most important now is that the focus remain on our goals for this season.”
In his second season in charge, Martino has Atlanta United one win away from the Supporters’ Shield, which it can clinch with a victory over Toronto FC on Decision Day.
The Five Stripes clinched a pair of playoff berths under Martino, and they tied the single-season points record with a victory over Chicago on Sunday.
Martino also led the Five Stripes to a berth in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League for recording the best record over the last two seasons.
Atlanta’s search for the second manager in club history will begin immediately, and with the budget and big names it’s been able to attract in its short existence, there should be a wide range of international candidates for the job.