If this is how Josef Martinez speaks to reporters before a big game, we’d pay a pretty penny to get one of his motivational speeches when the microphones are off.
Saying that Atlanta United is desperate to defend their title and win at all costs, Martinez says, “Whoever doesn’t have that type of mentality can go home and start their vacation.”
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The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas has the story of Atlanta’s quest for more, as United prepares to open its playoff run on Saturday against seventh seed New England Revolution. The Five Stripes beat the Revs to close out the regular season, and should’ve immediately shifted their focus to the playoffs, says Martinez.
“If someone shows up with a flat mentality, I’ll kick their ass,” Martínez said with a stern look on his face. “You should’ve been prepared from the time our first game against New England ended. Whoever messes with my job, I’ll kick them. Nobody plays with my money or my family. I’m here to win. I’m here to demonstrate who we are. No one can relax. You can relax after Nov. 14.”
Pity Martinez and Michael Parkhurst offer similar, if less amped up, vibes.
Saturday’s MLS Cup Playoffs opener between the Revs and Atlanta should be a fun one, as Bruce Arena has retooled New England and is usually pretty good in big games.