Pity Martinez of River Plate looks at the ball during a round of sixteen first leg match between River Plate and Racing Club as part of Copa Libertadores Aug. 9, 2018, at Juan Domingo Peron Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photo: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images
Photo: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

A few facts about Atlanta United’s Pity Martinez

A few facts about Atlanta United’s newest signing, Pity Martinez.

Q: How old is he?

A: 25.

Q: What position does he play?

A: Winger or attacking midfielder.

Q: Is he good?

A: Very. He’s the reigning South American Player of the Year after leading River Plate to the Copa Libertadores title against Boca Juniors. He’s fast, has endurance and is a good dribbler. He’s similar to Miguel Almiron.

5 things to know about Atlanta United's Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez

Q: How much did he cost?

A: Reportedly, $14 million.

Q: What’s his salary?

A: That won’t be disclosed until the MLS Players Association release all of the salaries this spring. Atlanta United is often accused to spending a lot of money. While the team has spent a lot on transfer fees, they have been very frugal with salaries. While Toronto is paying its three DPs more than $19 million just in salaries, the Five Stripes’ salaries as a team totaled less than $11.5 million last season. So, Pity Martinez likely won’t be making as much as is presumed.

The team can spend more on transfer fees because that money can be recouped should the player be sold. Because Martinez is 25, and a bit old to command top dollars, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens and if that happens.

Q: If he’s so good, why is he coming to MLS?

A: Good question. Atlanta United didn’t seem to have much competition to sign him. It could be because of his age. He said he committed to signing with Atlanta United because the team showed the most committed interest in him.

Q: What’s his real name?

A: Gonzalo.

Q: Why is he called Pity?

A: It’s a nickname given to him as a child by his grandmother. A Pititorra is a sparrow-like bird native to Argentina. 

Q: How is it pronounced?

A: Pea-Tee.

Q: When will he debut?

A: Great question with a difficult answer that depends upon if the team can sell Almiron before the European transfer window closes in late January/early February.

Atlanta United has its maximum three Designated Players allowed by MLS. Pity Martinez is the fourth. To create a spot for him, Atlanta United must do something with one of its three DPs. Josef Martinez just signed a contract extension. He’s not going anywhere. Almiron has been of interest to teams in England and Europe for more than a year. He seems the most likely to leave. The team could also try to sell Ezequiel Barco, though a loan seems more likely after his disappointing 2018 season.

If Atlanta United can do nothing with Almiron or Barco, Pity Martinez must sit until the summer transfer window opens and the process of buying and selling begins anew.

Q: Can’t Atlanta United do something else do get all four DPs on the field at the same time?

A: No. They can’t. Rules are rules.

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