After guiding Atlanta United through its first two years in MLS, head coach Tata Martino will leave the club following the season, it was announced today. Martino had a two-year contract with an option to extend, but has declined that option and will depart for further opportunities.
“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,” Martino said in a statement released by the club on Tuesday morning. “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.”
It’s not known where Martino will end up yet, but recent reports have pointed to him returning to the international stage as the manager of the Mexican men’s national team. Meanwhile, for Atlanta United, speculation begins as to who will take the reins in 2019, with AS Argentina reporting that current Boca Juniors manager and former MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in negotiations to return to the United States to helm the Five Stripes.
Regardless of who’s in charge next year - whether it’s Schelotto or another candidate - there’s no doubt that Martino has certainly made his mark on the league. With a shot at the Supporters’ Shield and an MLS Cup in his sights, all that’s left for him is to finish his time with the club on top.