Leo or Josef?
Perhaps more dramatically, Martino has to decide which of his strikers to start: Leonardo Campana, the reigning MLS Man of the Matchday for a brace and all-around solid play in a 3-1 win against Sporting Kansas City? The guy who’s scored five goals over the past five matches and is the Herons’ best threat in the air?
Or Josef Martinez, the Atlanta United legend, a player who scored 111 goals overall and 98 in MLS competition for the Five Stripes, who was league MVP and helped Atlanta win three trophies, including the 2018 MLS Cup? The guy who Atlanta United plans to honor in a pre-game ceremony before his first match at Atlanta since signing with Inter Miami earlier this year?
Campana clearly is in better form; Martinez has scored just once in the past five matches. But Martino was Martinez’ coach at Atlanta United during the young franchise’s early glory years; will he be practical, and start Campana? Or sentimental, and play Martinez?
Or will he mix things up and deploy both strikers in a 4-4-2 against the Red and Black? Stay tuned.
"Leo is in a head-to-head battle with Josef for one spot in the center of the attack. When you have two number 9s, as we have with Josef and Leo, one is not going to get as many minutes, but they both have to be ready to take advantage of their opportunities."- Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
"Josef and I have a great relationship, on and off the field. When he plays, I support him, and he supports me when I play. I think we complement each other very well…Of course, it’s hard for any player to be on the bench, but (Martino) is showing confidence in me, giving me opportunities, and I know if I keep working hard and believing in myself, the rest will come."- Leonardo Campana