FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: MLS Communications
Atlanta United Forward Josef Martinez Voted MLS Player of the Week
NEW YORK (Tuesday, March 14, 2017) – Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the second week of the 2017 MLS season.
In Atlanta United’s first win in club history, Martinez recorded a hat trick in a 6-1 victory over fellow expansion club Minnesota United FC, helping to set the record for most goals scored in a single match by an expansion club in its inaugural season. The 23-year-old Designated Player now leads MLS with three tallies, while Atlanta’s combined seven team goals top the league. Martinez, who led the Venezuelan National Team with five goals in 2016, becomes the third Venezuelan to record a hat trick in MLS history.
Martinez kicked off Atlanta’s high-scoring day with his first MLS goal in the third minute with a perfectly timed run and right-footed finish past MNUFC goalkeeper John Alvbåge for a 1-0 advantage (Watch Goal). Martinez again was able to break through the Minnesota back line and slot home another right-footed shot in the 27th minute, increasing Atlanta’s lead to 3-0 (Watch Goal).
Martinez completed his hat trick in the 75th minute with another well-timed run, collecting the ball in front of goal and faking the goalkeeper to give himself an open net and Atlanta a 5-1 lead (Watch Goal).
Atlanta United returns to action this Saturday, March 18 when it hosts the Chicago Fire at Bobby Dodd Stadium (4 p.m. ET, UniMás / Facebook.com).
The 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.