Atlanta United coach ‘Tata’ Martino given key to the city in Roswell


Beginning his second season as the head coach of Atlanta United this year, Gerardo “Tata” Martino has already experienced a ton of success.

With his pressing and attacking style of soccer, Martino led the club to a 15-10-9 record and an appearance in the playoffs in its inaugural season. Atlanta fans embraced the team, shattering Major League Soccer’s previous attendance records.

One city in metro Atlanta wanted to honor the coach for his contribution to the advancement of soccer in the region. On Monday night inside Roswell’s packed city council chambers, mayor Lori Henry presented Martino with the “key to the city.”


READ | N. Fulton in the NBA: Kobi Simmons may have role with Memphis

READ | Atlanta United makes roster news on first day of camp


Henry, who is in her first year as mayor of Roswell, called Martino a role model, a “legendary coach” and thanked him for “his inspiration to soccer and youth soccer in Roswell and the state of Georgia.”

“Roswell is a big fan of soccer,” she said.

The city boasts 16 soccer fields and more than 3,500 youth players, making it the most participated sport in Roswell, Henry said.

Before coming to Atlanta, Martino played the game professionally for 17 years for clubs across the globe and for the Argentina National Team. As a coach, he led the famous F.C. Barcelona, clubs across South America and the national teams of Paraguay and Argentina.


READ | North Fulton native named to NFL All-Rookie Team

READ | Lyft has designated pickup, drop-off spots at Mercedes-Benz Stadium


A 55-year-old native of Argentina, Martino thanked the council for the “wonderful honor,” welcoming him to the city and for supporting soccer in Roswell.

As Henry and councilmembers spoke during the presentation, Roswell resident Janet Russell and councilman Marcelo Zapata interpreted, for the coach, who speaks Spanish.

Zapata, the Post 1 councilman elected in 2015, is also a native of Argentina. Henry said Zapata was “instrumental” in bringing Martino to the city.

“(Martino) has inspired so many soccer players in the state of Georgia,” Zapata said. “Tata, you were a great professional player, you are a very talented coach and most important, you are a wonderful person.”

Atlanta United begins its second MLS season on March 3, on the road against the Houston Dynamo. | For updates on the team through training camp and the preseason, follow Doug Roberson’s coverage at the AJC.


Like North Fulton County News Now on Facebook | Follow on Twitter


MORE SOCCER...


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Passenger killed, driver injured in I-75 crash in Cobb
Passenger killed, driver injured in I-75 crash in Cobb

The front-seat passenger was killed Sunday when the car in which she was riding crashed on I-75 South in Cobb County, police said. The driver was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with critical injuries, Cobb police Sgt. Wayne Delk said. The crash happened shortly after noon between Hickory Grove Road and Wade Green Road, police said. “According...
Fans crowd downtown Atlanta for Comic Con, soccer, SEC football
Fans crowd downtown Atlanta for Comic Con, soccer, SEC football

Some were downtown for their fixes of sci-fi, comics or horror. Others whetted their appetites for fall and the near-religion of Southern sports — college football. Tens of thousands more sought the thrills of another kind of football — as in fútbol, soccer, the beautiful game. From Comic Con to the pre-season kickoff to SEC...
3 Missouri police officers wounded in Kansas City shootout; suspect killed
3 Missouri police officers wounded in Kansas City shootout; suspect killed

Police in Missouri shot and killed a suspect they said wounded three officers and was a person of interest in the shooting death of a university student, The Kansas City Star reported. >> Read more trending news The man had barricaded himself in a residence, Kansas City police said. The three officers were expected to live, KCTV ...
Officials seek answers in Gwinnett apartment fire
Officials seek answers in Gwinnett apartment fire

Investigators are seeking the cause of a fire at a  two-story, wood-frame apartment building in Norcross. Crews arrived about 3:25 a.m. Sunday at the KRC Hilltops apartments in the 5000 block of Brook Hollow Parkway, Gwinnett County fire spokesman Tommy Rutledge said. They found flames and smoke coming from two front units, he said. The fire was...
Massachusetts policeman, civilian killed in shooting 
Massachusetts policeman, civilian killed in shooting 

A Massachusetts police officer and a civilian were shot and killed in Weymouth on Sunday morning, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said the officer, identified as Michael Chesna, sustained life-threatening injuries and was rushed to South Shore Hospital. He later died from his injuries. The Norfolk County...
More Stories