Tata Martino - Atlanta United - Selfie with fans
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Tata Martino explains his decision to leave Atlanta United

Tata Martino is preparing to coach Atlanta United for the final time on the biggest stage.

Before his squad takes on Portland in 2018 MLS Cup on Saturday (8 pm ET | FOX, UniMás; TSN, TVAS), the Five Stripes boss sat down with ESPN to open up on his decision to depart the club.

“The contract was two years long with an option for another two, but the agreement was for two years," he said. "What I’ve done here is complete my contract and then analyze if the conditions are right to repeat something similar. In that analysis, on a personal and professional level, I concluded it wasn’t prudent to continue with the club.”

With Martino heavily linked to the vacant head coach position at the Mexican national team, the conversation naturally turned toward international soccer. He was effusive in his praise of new USMNT hire Gregg Berhalter.

“I’ve rarely seen a person that was a better fit for a team," Martino said. "Gregg has more than enough qualifications for the position and I think he’ll be a really important hire for the United States. Everything else doesn’t matter. The federation made their decision and I think they’ve made a good one.” 

And when asked about potentially going "to visit his family in Mexico" soon, an allusion to earlier comments about his future, Martino laughed.

“We’re hoping to make [a decision] and choose, most importantly, what's best for the future," he said.

For more from Martino, be sure to head over to ESPN.


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