The league’s hottest player won’t be on the field for at least the next month.
On Tuesday afternoon, Atlanta United FC announced that star forward Josef Martinez will miss about 4-6 weeks with a left quad injury he suffered last week during Venezuela’s game vs. Peru in World Cup qualifying.
Martinez has burst onto the MLS scene with a league-leading five goals, including a hat trick in a 6-1 rout of Minnesota United in the second week of the season. The 23-year-old Designated Player was voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week, before tacking on two more goals, including the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week, to lead Atlanta to a 4-0 thrashing of the Chicago Fire on March 18, improving the expansion side to 2-1-0 on the year.
Including the preseason, Martinez has scored nine goals in an Atlanta jersey and has found the back of the net in all but one match. The club locked him up with a permanent transfer and a multi-year contract last week after initially acquiring him on loan from Serie A side Torino FC in February.
Without Martinez, Atlanta are likely to turn to English Premier League veteran Kenwyne Jones, who’s scored more than 100 goals in his pro career. Atlanta return to action on Friday when they make the cross-country trip to Seattle to take on the Sounders (10 pm ET, FS1).
The injury announcement comes on the same day it was revealed that another one of the league’s bright stars, LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastien Lletget, will also miss 4-6 months with an injury sustained on international duty.
MLS FANTASY PRICE:
Josef Martinez – Forward – $9.4
SIMILAR TO: Clint Dempsey, Kei Kamara, David Accam