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Atlanta United leaves with favoritism over Portland Timbers. The duel will also be within the football coaches: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino and Giovanni Savarese
The 2018 Major League Soccer (MLS) final will have for the first time in its history, a very special additive for Latin American fans. The two finalists have on their teams, 7 Latin American players. Added to this, both coaches are South American. With this, Atlanta United receives this Saturday at the Mercedes Benz Stadium the Portland Timbers.
Leer en español: Major League Soccer: una final con toque latinoamericano
Latin flavor in Atlanta
As 12Up.com points out, in the first instance it will be a technical duel between the Argentine Gerardo 'Tata' Martino, possibly the next coach of the Mexican National Team, against the Venezuelan strategist Giovanni Savarese, boss of the Portland Timbers.
But in addition to that, there are 14 Latin soccer players. The same portal begins with Atlanta, where the Venezuelan striker Josef Martínez, the team's and the league's top scorer, plays with 31 goals in 34 games. Also, the talented Paraguayan Miguel Almirón and his compatriot Héctor Villalba. For Argentina, are the defender Leandro González Pirez, midfielder Eric Remed, Ezequiel Barco, and Franco Escobar.
On Oregon’s team are, the Argentine attackers Sebastián Blanco and Diego Valeri stand out. The Peruvian Andy Polo, the Paraguayan Cristian Paredes, the Colombians Dayro Asprilla and Diego Chará, and the Costa Rican David Guzmán, aim 12Up.Com.
Maybe you're interested in reading: The scoring track that inspired the Venezuelan Josef Martínez in Major League Soccer
Who is the favorite and why?
Us.as says that Atlanta United is the favorite because of its consistency in the results throughout the year by the hand of 'Tata' Martino and the talent of José Martínez and Miguel Almirón.
Atlanta accumulated 69 points in the general table to be the second-best record of the Eastern Conference of the league, and in general, just lost seven games and only two in local condition. To reach the final, the team left NYCFC on the road in the quarterfinals and the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals.
Having the best scorer of the campaign is always a guarantee. Martinez only had a small slump on the final stretch of the campaign, after scoring the number 28 and breaking the league mark in 27 games. However, he returned to his postseason privileges and has already nested three.
By accumulating more points than his rival in the general table, Atlanta will play the final at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Scenario in which they will have the support of their fans.
In the analysis, Us.as does not leave out the experience and wisdom of the 'Tata' Martino. He was the World Cup technical director with Paraguay in South Africa 2010, then Copa del Rey champion with FC Barcelona and more recently two Copa América fans with the Argentinean National Team.
A duel of South American coaches
In 22 seasons of Major League Soccer there had never been a Latin American coach who wins with his team. The strategists who have raised the cup are from the United States, Canada and Europeans, so either Martino or Savarese will break the story, Univisión reports.
The Portland Timbers rookie coach, Savarese, is calm and without pressure against what will be his first MLS final. The franchise is in search of its second title after the one reached in 2015. Atlanta goes for its first win. "We know what we have achieved from visitors in the playoffs and also where we can go as a team," he says to Diario Las Américas.
"These are the moments for which the great players are made and therefore the only thing that counts is to go into the field mentalized to make the best football," he said. "We always believed that we could reach the final and now we will have the opportunity to play it and do it against a great team, which is the favorite," Savarese continued.
In the same interview, he said "what changes is the scenario that will have a greater monitoring at national and international level, but the work to reach the final is similar. The reasoning is similar," said Savarese. "Together we are giving greater credibility to the league at international level".
In relation to his compatriot Josef Martinez, player of Atlanta, said "As a Venezuelan I am very proud of what he has achieved and like other professionals in our country, including myself, we try to leave Venezuela’s name at the top, specifically in these moments that our country is going through tough times," he concluded for Diario Las Américas.
On the other hand, Martino said in an interview compiled by Univisión. "I feel with the anxiety that we all have that we will be able to participate in the final and at the same time satisfied because beyond this is our last game, here is a process that started two years ago and will continue to function well.”
Martino is proud of the number of times that he has won, although there are some where he didn’t win, "First of all, I have to be grateful, because in the last seven years in each season I have played finals, with the national team of Paraguay, Newell's, Barcelona, Argentina, and now Atlanta United".
'Tata' valued Portland's ability to win and qualify as a visitor. "In the first game we played against them, they used a line of 5. They were very solid, and they scored a goal for us, as well as creating many situations, they are solid when it comes to defining away games, they have eliminated FC Dallas, Seattle and Sporting Kansas City, always as visitors ", concluded Martino.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from: 'Major League Soccer: una final con toque latinoamericano'