Atlanta United’s Martino voted MLS coach of year

November 13, 2018
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FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2018, file photo, Atlanta United MLS soccer team head coach Gerado ""Tata" Martino directs his players during the second half of a match against Orlando City, in Orlando, Fla. Martino has been voted coach of the year in Major League Soccer. Martino won his first award after guiding Atlanta through another record-breaking season. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Gerardo “Tata” Martino was voted coach of the year in Major League Soccer on Tuesday in his last season with Atlanta United.

Martino guided Atlanta through another record-breaking season. Backed by record crowds, Atlanta United won a playoff series for the first time by beating New York City FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Atlanta will play the New York Red Bulls in the first leg of the conference final Nov. 25.

Martino, the former Barcelona and Argentina national coach, is leaving Atlanta after the playoffs. He reportedly is headed to Mexico’s national team.

Martino received 32.7 percent of the votes by MLS team officials, players and media. Bob Bradley of Los Angeles FC was second at 22.34 percent.

Following Atlanta’s clinching 3-1 win over New York City FC on Sunday before a record crowd of 70,526 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, team captain Michael Parkhurst called Martino the “face of the team.”

In pregame festivities, Atlanta fans unveiled a towering, statuelike tifo of Martino that showed the coach in his trademark pose — arms crossed and a sweater tied over his shoulders. “El Tata” was written on the base.


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