Gerardo Martino Named First-ever Atlanta United Head Coach

(Photo by Juan Mabromata / Getty Images)

Major League Soccer is getting two new teams for the 2017. And necessarily, each of those teams need head coaches, of course. For Atlanta United, they’ve found their leading man. On Tuesday, the club announced the hiring of Gerardo “Tata” Martino as its first-ever head coach.

As a player, Martino spent most of his career with Argentinian club Newell’s Old Boys, where he scored 35 goals in 392 appearances. In 2007, he took over as the Paraguayan men’s national team and led them to a quarterfinals World Cup appearance and a finals appearance in the 2011 Copa America tournament, per a report by’s Alicia Rodriguez.

At the conclusion of his stint with Paraguay in 2011, he went on to manage Newell’s Old Boys. In 2013, he won the Torneo Final.

“This is an incredibly exciting and historic day for our club,” Atlanta United owner and National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “Gerardo brings an unprecedented level of international experience to our head-coaching position that will be a valuable asset to our players and demonstrates the continuing growth of Major League Soccer. We’re thrilled he’s chosen to join our club and look forward to welcoming him to Atlanta.”

Matino became FC Barcelona’s manager for the 2013-14 season, where he won then won the Spanish Super Cup. He then led the Argentinian men’s national team to consecutive Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016.

“I’m very happy to join Atlanta United as the first head coach in club history,” Martino said. “This is an amazing time for MLS, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading a team in an evolving league. Atlanta United is a first-rate organization, and I’m very eager to get workign and build one of the top clubs in MLS.”