On his last day in Atlanta with Atlanta United, Gerardo Martino said he hoped to return soon.
He wasn’t kidding.
Martino will return to Atlanta in just a few months when he leads Mexico against a to-be-announced opponent in an exhibition game June 5 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Martino recently led Atlanta United to the MLS Cup with a 2-0 win over Portland Dec. 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Martino was introduced as Mexico’s national team coach earlier this week.
Mexico has a long history playing in Atlanta, with each game played at the Georgia Dome:
• It defeated Venezuela 4-0 with more than 51,000 tickets sold or distributed in 2009;
• It defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 with more than 50,000 tickets sold or distributed in 2011;
• It defeated Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 with more than 54,000 tickets sold or distributed in the 2013 Gold Cup;
• It tied Nigeria 0-0 with an Atlanta record of 68,212 tickets sold or distributed in 2014;
• Mexico broke that record in 2015 with 70,511 tickets sold or distributed for a 2-1 win over Panama in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. That game was a doubleheader with the Americans losing to Jamaica 2-1 in the other semifinal.
• In 2016, it defeated Paraguay 2-0 in an exhibition with more than 63,049.
This will be Mexico’s third game in the U.S. on its 2019 tour. It will play Chile in San Diego on March 22, Paraguay in Santa Clara, Calif. on March 26, Atlanta on June 5 and in Arlington, Texas on June 9.
The games in Atlanta and Arlington will be warm-ups for the Gold Cup, so Martino is expected to bring Mexico’s strongest team to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Gold Cup will be played June 15-July 7.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.