Major League Soccer today announced Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino was named the 2018 MLS Coach of the Year. A two-time finalist for the award, Martino picked up his first award after guiding Atlanta through another record-breaking season in 2018.
Behind a second-place finish in the league table, Atlanta outscored every MLS club this year, becoming just the second team in league history to score 70-plus goals in back-to-back seasons. Atlanta also finished with 69 points, which tied the previous all-time league record, and posted a +26-goal-differential, which ranked second. Martino’s team also produced the most road wins (10) and points (32) in the post-shootout era during the 2018 campaign and the club qualified for the 2019 Concacaf Champions League by securing the best record in MLS over the last two seasons.
Over his two-year tenure, Martino’s coaching style has featured star power with an eye on the future. This season, Atlanta’s two MLS Best XI player honorees were also two of top finalists for the 2018 Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player award in 24-year-old Miguel Almirón, and 25-year-old Josef Martínez. While Martínez set a new single-season scoring record with 31 goals, Martino also developed a plethora of young talent, including 19-year-old Ezequiel Barco, 16-year-old George Bello, and 18-year-old Andrew Carleton, who featured often for the First Team.
Under Martino’s watch over two seasons, no team in MLS has claimed more points (124), scored more goals (140) or posted a higher goal differential (+56) than Atlanta. This past weekend, Atlanta advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship after defeating NYCFC 4-1 on aggregate.
Martino received 32.72 percent of the average vote, compiled from three groups: active players, media and club technical staff.
Coach of the Year Player Vote Club Vote Media Vote Final %
Gerardo “Tata” Martino (ATL) 46.92% 29.91% 21.32% 32.72%
Bob Bradley (LAFC) 20.53% 14.95% 31.53% 22.34%
Peter Vermes (SKC) 6.16% 15.89% 10.81% 10.95%
Jim Curtin (PHI) 3.81% 13.08% 7.51% 8.13%
Chris Armas (NY) 5.87% 3.74% 13.81% 7.81%
Atlanta United returns to action Sunday, Nov. 25 when it hosts New York Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship (5:00 p.m., ESPN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).