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Tata Martino offers update on club’s search for defensive midfielder

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Hear what he told the spanish-language media following Sunday’s match.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United FC Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Tata Martino vaguely updated the club’s search for a number six following Atlanta United’s 3-1 victory over D.C. United Sunday afternoon, offering more thoughts regarding Carlos Carmona’s departure.

“We have to remember we lost a key piece of that partnership we had last year with Carmona and Larentowicz, and so we’re trying to fill that void he left a little bit with the formation instead of one player,” Martino said through a translator.

Enter the 3-5-2 formation. And while it won’t solve the issue of Carmona’s replacement, it does patch the issue, for now.

Still, many have been long waiting and expecting a replacement for Carmona since his surprising sale to Colo Colo in Chile. Fans have been disappointed in the lack of news regarding a replacement, but Martino made it clear back-end work was being done to find a quality midfielder to fill the void.

“When Yamil left, the club contracted Ezequiel Barco. We lost a left winger and we replaced him with a left winger. When the issue with Carlos happened, we started looking at the options available and as of now we have neither found nor closed on the options that we like or liked,” Martino told the Spanish-language media.

“We’re always attentive that we’ll able to find one [a replacement] and if not, we’ll try to find solutions within the team.”

Martino continued with special emphasis placed on the importance of the spine of a team. The majority of top clubs within MLS have not dissembled or needed to find replacements for any central player in a team’s tactical setup.

“When you review New York City, Toronto or Columbus, the spine of the team has not been disassembled. Only the teams that had a bad season prepared to do something different,” Martino said.

Atlanta lost a player in Carmona that did so much in conjunction with Larentowicz in a vital part of the field for what Martino’s style of play demands. Martino had time and could prepare for the loss of Asad. Carmona’s departure was a different story.

“We were not prepared for what happened with Carmona. It took us all a bit by surprise. In this case, it’s not anyone’s fault. What we have to do is see if we can resolve this.”