Atlanta United held its season-ending media session last week at the training ground in Marietta.
Over the next few days, I’ll post a few stories from interviews with Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra and players Michael Parkhurst, Brad Guzan, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, Hector Villalba, Julian Gressel and Miguel Almiron.
Here are excerpts from Josef Martinez, who scored 19 goals:
Q. Were you surprised to be subbed out with around five minutes left against Columbus in the playoff game and a penalty shootout seeming probable?
A. That’s another one that’s an opinion for me.
Q. Did you surprise yourself with how quickly you adapted to the league, and what were your impressions of the league?
A. I’m happy with what we were able to achieve in our first season. I only got to play 20 games. Our goal was to win a championship. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that. We will try next season.
Q. Were you happy with the team’s result?
A. We had bigger aspriations for the season. We wanted to go farther and win a championship. Now, it’s up to the guys to do their training in the offseason, do all things the coaching staff asks of us individually, so that when we all come back in January, are on the same page when we come back in January.
Q. What was the most important thing you learned under Gerardo Martino?
A. I learned a lot of things this year, not just on the field but off the field from Tata and also from all my teammates. I learned a lot from playing with these guys. I think the players we have on this team made things go so smoothly for us this season. I’m jst proud to be a part of this team and institution.
Q. Anything specific you learned?
A. A lot of things.
Q. Is there an example, you mentioned things you learned off the field?
A. The most important thing is that players are able to have fun on the field and to be a role model and help the younger teammates on the field.
Q. Where do you want to see the team improve most in the offseason?
A. Good question. I think we are a really young team. That’s something you saw this year. For a young team we played well together. I think that’ something we can build on for next season. We know changes are going to come, but we need to work hard next season.
Q. Have you enjoyed living in Atlanta?
A. To be honest, I love the city. Coming from a different country, it was great to be in a city where the fans show you so much support and the coaching staff to the team, as well.