Yesterday, Atlanta United announced the signing of Gerardo “Tata” Martino as the club’s head coach. Today the MLS expansion club followed the coach appointment by hosting a press conference for Tata at the World of Coke in downtown Atlanta. Also in attendance: club President, Darren Eales, and Technical Director, Carlos Bocanegra.
Eales began the conference by pointing out 5 key criteria that the organization was looking for in a head coach:
- Stellar coaching experience
- Commitment to youth development
- Good person who embraces the core values that owner, Arthur Blank, has across all his businesses
- Has the grand task of recruiting players not only in the United States but around the world
- Fast and fluid playing style
He followed up by stating that Tata Martino, “fills all this criteria,” and is “a great fit from both a cultural and soccer perspective.”
Eales then proceeded to “scarf” Tata and officially welcome him to the Atlanta club.
After the commemorative “scarfing” of the club’s new member, Carlos Bocanegra touched on Tata’s soccer experience, noting that while most people are impressed by his track record with FC Barcelona and Argentina, he and Eales were equally intrigued by his revival and success of Argentine club, Newell’s Old Boys and the Paraguay national team.
Bocanegra also referenced their trip to Rosario, Argentina, and explained when he and Eales arrived at the meeting, Tata had with him a thick notebook full of info on MLS squads and formations, clearly having done his homework on the league. “We knew from right then and there he was interested and serious about it,” said Bocanegra.
When asked about reasons for choosing Atlanta, Tata responded, “They shared with me their ideas, objectives, and stadium plans, and I understood that this was a unique proposal that I couldn’t pass up,” as well as, “having the opportunity to make sure the club has the same philosophy, not only the first team but also the academy.”