Josef Martinez runs away with September honor | Alcatel Player of the Month

Josef Martinez just completed one of the best months of any player in MLS history, so it’s only natural that the Atlanta United FC striker was named Alcatel MLS Player of the Month for September.

The Venezuelan scored nine goals in the month, recording back-to-back hat tricks against New England on Sept. 13 and against Orlando on Sept. 16 and scoring in all but two of Atlanta’s seven matches. The striker led the Five Stripes to a 5-0-2 record in September and helped them become just the third expansion team in MLS history to clinch a playoff berth in their inaugural season. Atlanta are now in third in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind NYCFC for the conference’s second seed and first-round bye.

Martinez began the month with a 46th-minute strike in Atlanta’s 3-0 win against FC Dallas in their first match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 10. He blasted a hat trick in the club’s 7-0 thrashing of New England on Sept. 13, then bagged three more goals in their 3-3 draw against Orlando on Sept. 16 in front of an MLS record crowd of 70,425 in Atlanta.

The 24-year-old struck again in Atlanta’s 4-0 home win against the LA Galaxy on Sept. 20 then scored again in their 3-0 victory against Philadelphia on Sept. 27.

Despite only playing in 18 regular season games, Martinez now has 18 goals and one assist this season. He’s fourth in the MLS Golden Boot race, three goals behind Chicago’s Nemanja Nikolic for the league lead.

Martinez is currently with Venezuela for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and at Paraguay. He’ll return to Atlanta ahead of their next match at the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 15 (5 pm ET; MLS LIVE).

The Alcatel MLS Player of the Month is voted upon by a panel of select national media members in a process conducted by MLS Communications.