Tata Martino: MLS reunion "always" an option for ex-Atlanta United coach

Tata Martino ATL 1

Nearly five years after leaving Major League Soccer, Gerardo "Tata" Martino not only still follows the league – he's open to returning.

Atlanta United's first-ever head coach, who led the Five Stripes to MLS Cup presented by Audi glory in 2018 before taking over the Mexico national team job, stated as much, in no uncertain terms, during a recent interview with The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas.

“MLS is my weakness,” said the Argentine manager, who's currently out of work since November following El Tri's group-stage exit at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

However, a lack of a job doesn't mean a lack of opportunities for Martino. As recently as last month, he turned down an offer from Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors – reportedly because a return to his native country isn't in his plans.

A return to MLS, on the other hand, appears to be a much more exciting option for "Tata," who fondly remembers his legendary stint with the Five Stripes and working with stars like Miguel Almirón and Josef Martínez.

“I was part of an extraordinary project with Atlanta United that had a clear direction, a lot of communication and similar objectives that were established very quickly and executed," Martino said. "After coaching in MLS, I became attracted to it. I like the league. The possibility of returning to MLS is always there.”

And the 60-year-old, who also coached LaLiga titans FC Barcelona, as well as the Argentina and Paraguay national teams, remains as big a fan as ever of the league he called home between 2016-18.

“MLS excites me. The season is just getting started but I’ve tried to follow it as much as I can," Martino said, all but throwing his name out for consideration.

"It’s a league that I’d go back to someday.”

Currently, all 29 MLS head coaching jobs are filled (no interims). There have been no dismissals heading into Matchday 9 of the 2023 campaign.