In an ideal world, Pity Martinez would've spent this spring with his Atlanta United teammates trying to bring home the Concacaf Champions League title and, in the process, stake his claim to being the best player in North America.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has halted that effort for the time-being, the next-best thing we can do is spend our newfound free time debating it.
In a recent interview with ESPN Deportes' Herculez Gomez and Mauricio Pedroza, New York Red Bulls' creative midfielder Kaku made his case for the fellow Argentine. Specifically, he was asked who the best player is he's seen between MLS, Liga MX and the Argentine SuperLiga.
"Pity Martinez," Kaku said. "For what he has shown here [in MLS] and in Argentina and even in that Concacaf game against Club America. I'll stick with him."
As Kaku alludes to, Martinez won South American Player of the Year in 2018 for helping River Plate win the Copa Libertadores prior to moving on to Atlanta.
As for North American competition, it's not quite clear which "Concacaf game" Kaku meant. Last August, Martinez was a key contributor in earning a decisive penalty in Atlanta's 3-2 Campeones Cup win over Las Aguilas, but did not find the scoresheet himself. This past March, America got their revenge with a 3-0 hammering of coach Frank de Boer's squad, but Pity Martinez was easily the best player on the field for the visitors.
Kaku has twice faced Liga MX opposition with the Red Bulls, coming up on the short end of a tightly contested 2018 semifinal against Chivas de Guadalajara and then a disappointing loss to Santos Laguna in the 2019 quarterfinals. Asked about the possibility of expanded competition between the two leagues — even a joint superleague — he was all for it.
"I think it's a good idea," Kaku said. "We know that the two leagues continue to grow. Whatever happens, that's good and I think it'd be good for them to join. Each [league] will decide in the future what to do."