The winning strike came in a 2-0 victory over expansion side FC Cincinnati on Sept. 18, after the Venezuelan gracefully cushioned a through ball from Julian Gressel with his heel. The 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP then cut back onto his left foot, juked past a defender and curled home into the far-side netting past Cincy goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
That strike helped Martinez reach 77goals through 83 regular-season games for Atlanta, reaffirming his place as an elite striker in the league. At one point this year, Martinez logged a 15-game scoring streak that prematurely ended when he went down injured in a 3-1 win over San Jose on Sept. 21. The Designated Player has since recovered as the Five Stripes look to defend their MLS Cup title in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Along the way, Martinez finished third in the Golden Boot race presented by Audi, trailing LAFC forward Carlos Vela (34) and LA Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (30). Both Vela and Ibrahimovic were also firmly in the AT&T Goal of the Year hunt, but ultimately the Atlanta faithful powered Martinez to the top.
This is the second time in three years that Atlanta has taken home the title of AT&T Goal of the Year, following Tito Villalba won in 2017.
AT&T Goal of the Year Winners
- 2019: Josef Martinez - ATL vs. CIN on September 18, 2019
- 2018: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - LA vs. LAFC on March 31, 2018
- 2017: Hector Villalba - ATL vs. ORL on July 21, 2017
- 2016: Shkelzen Gashi - VAN vs COL on September 24, 2016
- 2015: Krisztian Nemeth - SKC vs POR on October 3, 2015
- 2014: Obafemi Martins - SEA vs SJ on May 17, 2014
- 2013: Camilo Sanvezzo - VAN vs POR on October 6, 2013
- 2012: Patrick Ianni - SEA vs SKC on June 20, 2012
- 2011: Darlington Nagbe - POR vs SKC on July 2, 2011
- 2010: Marco Pappa - CHI vs SJ on April 10, 2010
- 2009: Landon Donovan - LA vs NE on August 8, 2009
- 2008: Will Johnson - RSL vs DAL on October 18, 2008
- 2007: Cuauhtemoc Blanco - CHI vs RSL on August 18, 2007
- 2006: Brian Ching - HOU vs DC on September 30, 2006
- 2005: Dwayne De Rosario - SJ vs LA on October 15, 2005
- 2004: Dwayne De Rosario - SJ vs DC on August 2, 2004
- 2003: Damani Ralph - CHI vs CLB on August 13, 2003
- 2002: Carlos Ruiz - LA vs CLB on July 27, 2002
- 2001: Clint Mathis - NY vs DAL on April 28, 2001
- 2000: Marcelo Balboa - COL vs CLB on April 22, 2000
- 1999: Marco Etcheverry - DC vs MIA on May 22, 1999
- 1998: Brian McBride - CLB vs CHI on July 9, 1998
- 1997: Marco Etcheverry - DC vs NE on August 27, 1997
- 1996: Eric Wynalda - SJ vs DC on April 6, 1996