Tata Martino Wins 2018 MLS Coach of the Year

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Tata Martino
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 13: Atlanta Head Coach Gerardo Martino during the soccer match between the Orlando City Lions and Atlanta United on May 13, 2018 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Atlanta, Georgia (November 13, 2018) — Tata Martino is the latest figure within Major League Soccer to take home a postseason accolade.

The league named the Atlanta United manager its coach of the year for the 2018 season on Tuesday. Martino helped lead the Five Stripes to a second-place finish in the Supporters’ Shield standings behind their current opponent in the Eastern Conference finals, the New York Red Bulls.

Major League Soccer Names Tata Martino 2018 Coach of the Year

Despite finishing behind the Red Bulls in the table this year, Atlanta’s 2018 campaign was one for the history books. The club’s 21 wins surpassed the previous post-shootout era league record which stood at 20. They also tied Toronto FC’s single-season points record with 69.

Under Martino’s stewardship, the Five Stripes developed into a hugely dynamic team from an attacking standpoint. That’s abundantly clear given that they eclipsed the 70-goal mark in both of their first two seasons in the league. No club in league history has ever put together consecutive 70-goal seasons.

Of course, the poster child of Atlanta’s attacking prowess under Martino is Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan center forward finished the 2018 regular season with 31 goals which smashed the previous single-season league record which stood at 27. Both him and attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron are finalists for the Landon Donovan MVP Award this year.

Martino has a distinguished resume as a manager both at club and international level. It includes stints with both the Paraguayan and Argentinian national team in addition to stops at Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina as well as Spanish giants FC Barcelona. His next coaching stop will see him take the Mexican national team job at the conclusion of Atlanta United’s campaign.

But before he departs, there’s still business to take care of. Specifically, winning MLS Cup. His Five Stripes side is just a series win away from hosting the league’s championship match. And the next step towards achieving that goal begins on Sunday, November 25th when they face the Red Bulls in the first leg of the conference finals. That match kicks off at 5 p.m. ET with ESPN providing television coverage.

Previous MLS Coach of the Year Winners

2017: Greg Vanney, Toronto FC
2016: Oscar Pareja, FC Dallas
2015: Jesse Marsch, New York Red Bulls
2014: Ben Olsen, D.C. United
2013: Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers
2012: Frank Yallop, San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy
2010: Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas
2009: Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy
2008: Sigi Schmid, Columbus Crew
2007: Preki, Chivas USA
2006: Bob Bradley, Chivas USA
2005: Dominic Kinnear, San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Greg Andrulis, Columbus Crew
2003: Dave Sarachan, Chicago Fire
2002: Steve Nicol, New England Revolution
2001: Frank Yallop, San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Bob Gansler, Kansas City Wizards
1999: Sigi Schmid, LA Galaxy
1998: Bob Bradley, Chicago Fire
1997: Bruce Arena, D.C. United
1996: Thomas Rongen, Tampa Bay Mutiny

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