There is good and bad with the news. Let’s start with the bad news: Pity missing out on such an important tournament will surely be a personal blow to the attacking midfielder. Having received his first three Argentina caps in friendlies over the last calendar year, he will surely wanted to keep himself as a mainstay in the squad for the competitive competitions. Unfortunately, his form in recent weeks hasn’t merited a place in Argentina’s team, and he doesn’t quite have the clout for Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni to be giving him the benefit of the doubt.
It’s also a blow for Atlanta United, who prides itself on being one of the few teams in MLS that gives players from prestigious footballing nations a platform and a spotlight from which to be noticed. Because while Atlanta United might miss a player like Ezequiel Barco on the field right now, it still benefits the club that he’s representing Atlanta United while competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer.
However, whatever the negative off-the-field ramifications of Pity’s omission from the squad are, the club probably benefits on-the-field from this decision by the AFA. Martinez’s break will be roughly equal — if anything, a smidge longer — than the “offseason” break he had this year after his transfer from River Plate to Atlanta United. Martinez cut a physically and mentally fatigued figure in Atlanta’s recent 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, and Frank de Boer will likely be happy to see his star get a break coming up in June.