Martino pleased with Atlanta United’s progress

Atlanta United is managed by Gerardo “Tata” Martino. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Atlanta United is managed by Gerardo “Tata” Martino. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

After a first week of practice, Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino is pleased with his team’s progress.

“I’m getting great feelings from the players individually and as a group,” he said through a translator.

Martino said he can tell the players are working hard and seem happy to work. Because of the physicality of the sessions, he said they are still “far away” from the finesse on the ball that he wants to see.

The team starting working on tactics last Thursday.

“The reception from the players and the speed of how we want to implement is good for me,” he said. “Our learning, we keep talking to the players and giving them information for them to understand what we are trying to do. We are growing at a good pace. We need to develop the ideas more. We will see when we tart scrimmaging, how far we can go.”

Martino said they will start scrimmaging next Saturday, but that would be the first preseason game at Chattanooga. He may have meant this Saturday.

Overall, Martino said he’s pleased with the decision to hold training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

“It’s the right place to be,” he said. “The facility is amazing. We are getting the right nutrition, the resting time we need. It’s been really good and what we planned for.”

The team will return to Atlanta on Sunday.

Martino said he has no concerns over being able to evaluate the players who aren’t in camp. Fullback Greg Garza has been training with the U.S. men’s national team. Zach Loyd reported last Friday, but is rehabbing an injury. Jacob Peterson trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday. He reported late because he and his wife recently had their first child. Brandon Vazquez will leave camp to train with the Under-20 U.S. national team.

“We have time to work with those players,” he said.

The team is also reportedly pursuing two players: forward Josef Martinez and defensive midfielder Carlos Carmona. Both players are with clubs in Italy: Martinez with Torino and Carmona with Atalanta, which recently terminated his contract.

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