Former Argentina coach Martino heading to MLS

Miami (AFP) – Former Argentina coach Gerardo Martino is heading to Major League Soccer after agreeing a deal with new expansion side Atlanta United FC, the club said Tuesday.

Martino, who stepped down as Argentina coach this year after his team was beaten in the final of the Copa America Centenario in June, will oversee Atlanta’s first season in the MLS in 2017.

“This is an incredibly exciting and historic day for our club,” Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank said.

“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.”

Martino, 53, took over as Argentina coach following the 2014 World Cup, where the South Americans were beaten in the final.

It followed a successful spell as Paraguay coach, where he guided the team to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup and the final of the 2011 Copa America.

After a spell with Argentinian side Newell’s Old Boys — who he made more than 400 appearances for as a player — Martino managed Barcelona for a season in 2013-2014.

“I’m very happy to join Atlanta United as the first head coach in club history,” Martino said. 

“This is an exciting 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 working and build one of the top clubs in MLS.”

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