Based upon his success with Atlanta United, as well as history with clubs throughout South America, the Paraguayan national team and Barcelona, Martino has been tied to most national team jobs that have recently come open in North or South America, including those for the U.S., Paraguay (now filled), Colombia and Mexico.
Losing Martino could put the brakes on Atlanta United’s momentum. The Five Stripes became the first MLS expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to make the playoffs last season. The team has clinched a spot in the playoffs this season and is the favorite to win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup.
The team has several players from South America on its roster. Though Martino consistently says that he typically doesn’t have a role in player recruitment, many of those players, including Miguel Almiron, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Ezequiel Barco and Franco Escobar, have said that among the reasons they agreed to come to MLS and Atlanta United was the chance to work with Martino, known as “Tata.”