Report: Josef Martinez won't return to Atlanta United in 2023

Josef Martinez ATL

Josef Martinez and Atlanta United appear headed for a divorce.

The Five Stripes legend has been informed by the club that they're moving on from him this offseason and he won't return in 2023, according to a report by The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas.

This decision would end one of the most successful player-club partnerships in MLS history. Martinez, who arrived in Atlanta ahead of their inaugural 2017 season, earned elite status as the club's all-time leading scorer, with 98 goals in just 134 regular-season games.

He also spearheaded the organization's emergence as a regional powerhouse during their early days in MLS, helping Atlanta win the 2018 MLS Cup title, the 2019 US Open Cup and the 2019 Campeones Cup.

His impact transcended the playing field, as Martinez became the face of the club and an iconic figure in the city of Atlanta.

Things began to unravel in the 2020, when an ACL tear caused him to miss almost the entire season and greatly affected his offensive output. During the 2022 campaign, Martinez was involved in several reported confrontations with head coach Gonzalo Pineda, including allegedly flipping over a catering table after a 2-1 loss at the Portland Timbers last month.

This incident earned him a one-game suspension, with Pineda stating it was the latest of "multiple cases or situations" of "bad behavior" by the Venezuelan.

Martinez, who had 9g/4a this season and won the 2022 AT&T 5G MLS Goal of the Year, has one year remaining on his contract with Atlanta, who missed out on the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.