Sometimes the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is a tight race; on other occasions, it’s a coronation.
You can chalk up the Week 28 winner in the latter category.
Martinez led Atlanta on a scoring explosion at their brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium home, first in a 7-0 rout of the New England Revolution in midweek action, and then in a wild 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC on Saturday.
The Venezuelan international became the third player in MLS history to register back-to-back hat tricks, and has now totaled 16 goals in just 14 games, vaulting into a tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot race. Martinez has scored seven goals in the Five Stripes’ last three matches, a key component of their four-game unbeaten streak.
Martinez opened the scoring barely a minute after kickoff on Wednesday against New England, combining with teammate Miguel Almiron to give ATLUTD a 1-0 lead. He converted a penalty kick past Revs goalkeeper Cody Cropper in the 31st minute, then netted another spot kick eight minutes later as Atlanta dominated nine-man New England, tying a record for the largest margin of victory in MLS history.
Martinez provided another dazzling performance in front of an MLS-record 70,425 fans on Saturday, scoring in the 36th minute from close range to pull Atlanta level at 1-1, then finishing a Chris McCann cross in the 55th minute to even the match at 2-2.
After Orlando took the lead yet again, Martinez volleyed home a low cross in the box from Hector Villalba in the 69th minute to bag his third hat trick of the season, becoming one of only five players in MLS history to accomplish the feat.
Martinez and Atlanta return to action on Wednesday as the LA Galaxy visit “The Benz” (7 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada), while the Montreal Impact hit town on Sunday (5 pm ET | FOX,FOX Deportes in US, TVAS in Canada).
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.