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November 29, 2018

Gerardo Martino

Harrison, New Jersey

NY Red Bulls - 1, Atlanta United - 0

Q. How about this club in its second season, watching these guys grow up and embrace what it means to play for this club right now and be on this stage that they are at so quickly?
GERARDO MARTINO: Yeah, we've had the chance to work and form a team together with these players in Atlanta, and I think we've done a good job over these past two years. Obviously I think you saw this year, you know, the growth of the team and we exceeded what we accomplished last season.

Q. How key was the first leg for you guys? Obviously winning 3-0 is a big advantage for you guys, can game plan differently. How big was that?
GERARDO MARTINO: Yeah, the first leg was fundamental. The advantage was fundamental, and based on that, that's what led us to coming out like we did today.

Q. How much did it surprise you they sat back a little bit more, as opposed to pressing you high like they did in September or end of August?
GERARDO MARTINO: Yeah, away from home, sometimes this season, the Red Bulls hasn't pressed as much as they like to do at home, or they don't maintain it for as long of periods as they do. It surprised us a little bit, but tonight we saw when we expected from them, that they would come out and press us the way they did.

Q. Did that benefit you, that they didn't press that high at home?
GERARDO MARTINO: Yeah, of course. To be able to score three goals at home without giving one up, that's definitely an advantage.

Q. How bittersweet it for you that your last match with this team is going to be MLS cup?
GERARDO MARTINO: Yeah, it's nice, because we get to do it at home in front of all our fans, so it will be a chance for us to say good-bye to them. Regardless of the score, it's been important to play in front of those people.

Q. What do you remember about the day you were introduced as the team's manager?
GERARDO MARTINO: What I remember most from that day is that, you know, I had the nerves from not understanding absolutely anything in English. I still don't understand much more, but I've progressed in some fashion, and then I remember working out of Arthur's office before the training ground was finished and just every day, writing different names on the white board, and over the course of those weeks and months as we were forming the team, just writing names, erasing different names and just trying to sign the players that we needed for the squad.

Q. Have you heard about Atlanta's history with pro sports championships and your chance to change that?
GERARDO MARTINO: Hopefully we can change that. That's the only thing I want to say is hopefully we can change it and that history doesn't go on like that for too much longer.

Q. Can you talk about -- to be a more well-rounded team and to win games --
GERARDO MARTINO: This wasn't our best performance. It wasn't our prettiest performance tonight but it was practical in our approach and I think that's important as a team to be able to adjust to different situations and overcome different situations, especially in the playoffs.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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