Martino’s response to Torrent on Friday took the sting out of the accusations.
“I don’t have much to say about that,” he said. “I don’t think we delayed the game in any exaggerated fashion in the first leg. It’s a statement that he’s made that I agree with in general.”
Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst and goalkeeper Brad Guzan said Atlanta United isn’t going to shy away from playing as physically as it did in the first leg.
They also didn't directly mention, but did reference, that NYCFC players Alexander Ring, David Villa and Ronald Matarrita committed plays that could have resulted in yellow or red cards in other games.
“It’s a physical game,” Parkhurst said. “There were fouls on both sides. There are guys doing stuff off the ball. Everything gets seen, but not everything gets punished. You are expecting it to be physical. We are going to make sure that we look after our own guys. Whatever it takes we are going to do it together.”
Guzan said he thinks Torrent’s complaints are born of frustration from losing at home for only the second time this season.
“I don’t think anyone’s stated that we are a team that dives,” he said. “To see those comments, he’s entitled to his opinion. We are not a team that goes out trying to look for fouls. We are a fast-paced team that looks to get after the back line of the opposition. We aren’t looking for diving and fouls and that sort of thing.”