Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week
NEW YORK (Tuesday, September 19, 2017) – Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 28th week of the 2017 MLS season.
Martínez scored two hat tricks to lead Atlanta to a pair of positive results, first dispatching the New England Revolution 7-0 in midweek action followed by a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC on Saturday. The Venezuela National Team forward became the third player in MLS history to register back-to-back hat tricks and has now totaled 16 goals in just 14 games, sitting tied for third in the Golden Boot race. In the midst of a four-game unbeaten streak in which Martínez has scored seven goals, Atlanta currently sits in fifth place in Eastern Conference standings (43 points, 12-8-7 overall record).
Martínez got off to a quick start on Wednesday against New England, combining with teammate Miguel Almirón on a give-and-go play to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the second minute (Watch Goal). Martínez received a chance from the penalty spot in the 31st minute and calmly slotted in the finish for the 2-0 Atlanta edge (Watch Goal). The forward was given another shot from the spot in the 39th minute and powered the kick past New England goalkeeper Cody Cropper to make it 3-0 (Watch Goal). Atlanta added four more goals to finish the game with a 7-0 scoreline, tying a record for the largest margin of victory in MLS history.
In front of an MLS-record 70,425 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Martínez provided another dazzling performance, scoring in the 36th minute from close range to pull Atlanta even at 1-1 (Watch Goal). Orlando took the lead again before halftime, but in the 55th minute Chris McCann crossed a long ball into the box where Martínez finished with a powerful header to even the match at 2-2 (Watch Goal). After Orlando took the lead for the third time in the game, Martínez received a low cross in the box from Héctor Villalba and cracked home a volley to complete his hat trick in the 69th minute (Watch Goal). The hat trick was the third of the season for Martínez, as he becomes one of five players in MLS history to accomplish the feat.
Atlanta returns to action on Wednesday, September 20 to take on the LA Galaxy at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2), before hosting the Montreal Impact on Sunday, September 24 (5 p.m. ET, FOX/FOX Deportes/TVAS).
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.