Josef Martinez - Atlanta United - closeup during warmups
Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United FC's Josef Martinez closes in on MLS hat trick record

He’s just at the start of his second season in Major League Soccer, yet Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez is already on the brink of making history.

In a 4-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, the 24-year-old Venezuelan bagged his fourth career MLS hat trick and he’s now one away from a league record shared by Stern John of Columbus Crew SC, who did it in 55 games, and former standout Diego Serna, who played for five MLS teams, finishing with the Colorado Rapids, needed 124 games for his five hat tricks.

Remarkably, Martinez has four hat tricks in just 23 games, significantly fewer games played than the eight players he’s tied with. Three other players in MLS could also tie or break the record in the coming matches, including Sebastian Giovinco, Chris Wondolowski and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Martinez, who was named the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 3, will chase history when Atlanta United returns from the international break to face Minnesota United FC on March 31 (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE).

Hat Tricks

Player GP Hat Tricks
Stern John 55 5
Diego Serna 124 5
Josef Martinez 23 4
Edson Buddle 304 4
Mamadou Diallo 74 4
Landon Donovan 340 4
Sebastian Giovinco 88 4
Cobi Jones 306 4
Robbie Keane 125 4
Chris Wondolowski 295 4
Bradley Wright-Phillips 141 4