Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez stated he has totally recovered from a “minor coronary heart concern” ensuing from his bout with COVID-19, and stays so dedicated to the 5 Stripes’ trigger that he desires to complete his profession with the membership.
Chatting with reporters on a Zoom name forward of Wednesday’s match in opposition to FC Cincinnati, Martinez recounted how he contracted COVID-19 whereas on the Copa America with Venezuela’s nationwide crew. After quarantining for 12 days, he returned to the U.S. the place exams revealed a difficulty together with his coronary heart.
“There was a sophisticated week for me as a result of we’re speaking about your well being,” he stated with the assistance of a translator. “However due to God, all the pieces is resolved, and now we’re right here, fascinated with [Wednesday’s] sport.”
Martinez was talking simply days after Atlanta fired manager Gabriel Heinze with the crew mired in tenth place within the Japanese Convention with a document of 2-4-7. The Atlanta ahead declined to enter a lot element about his relationship with the Argentine, who compelled Martinez to coach other than the crew attributable to an undisclosed concern.
A report in The Athletic detailed how Martinez informed higher administration that this season could be his final in Atlanta. Heinze’s departure now clears the way in which for Martinez to stay with the 5 Stripes.
“There wasn’t an issue,” Martinez stated. “Clearly, I respect the choice that the membership has made. I’ve to be skilled about this. The problems had been resolved.”
It later emerged that Heinze violated phrases of the Collective Bargaining Settlement between the MLS Gamers Affiliation and MLS by, amongst different issues, not giving gamers mandated days off. A Fox Sports activities report detailed how Heinze refused to permit his gamers to drink ample water throughout coaching, and that the crew’s medical workers needed to intervene.
“I feel now we have to maneuver ahead,” Martinez stated. “What’s previously, is previously. We respect all the selections of the teaching workers. However I feel crucial factor now’s for us to raise our heads as much as proceed shifting ahead, and now we have to work collectively as a bunch to attempt to return to profitable video games.”
Martinez stated he hoped that Atlanta, below interim supervisor Rob Valentino, will get again to the attacking type the crew displayed in its first two years within the league, which included an MLS Cup triumph.
“I do not know precisely what was lacking, or what was wanted to get these outcomes, however generally in soccer, the very best crew would not all the time win,” he stated. “However what I do assume is that we’d like to have the ability to rating extra objectives and have some extra readability in our attacking. However we additionally had some video games, the place we had been forward and we let the outcomes escape us within the final minute.”
Martinez then reiterated his need to complete his profession in Atlanta.
“I’ve this yr then I’ve two extra years [on my contract],” Martinez stated. “The primary time I got here right here, I stated, ‘That is my membership, that is my metropolis and I like to be right here.’ I wish to retire right here. I like this membership.”