It’s taken Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez some time to get used to these United States, but he’s in the sweet spot now.
He’s also a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion.
Martinez scored six minutes after a Minnesota United own goal as Atlanta United built an early lead and held on through a Leandro Gonzalez Pirez red card at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Tuesday.
It’s Atlanta’s first USOC title, the first won by a team from Georgia, and joins the club’s 2018 MLS Cup in the trophy case
To borrow an adjective from PST’s Joe Prince-Wright, the second half was pulsating.
Atlanta’s first goal came when Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s cross was partially blocked but took a turn into the goal in the 10th minute.
After failing to record a goal or assist in his first eight MLS contests, Pity Martinez posted three goals and seven assists in his next 18 plus two goals in the Open Cup.
Minnesota pulled one back just after the break to reinvigorate the match.
It was Robin Lod who produced the goal, the Finnish national team hitting a shot that deflected past Brad Guzan.
Pirez made it more tense when he took his second yellow card in the 74th minute.
Ike Opara missed a first half chance, but thought he made up for it in stoppage time. His would-be equalizing assist was popped over the bar by Michael Boxall.