Atlanta United Forward Josef Martínez Voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week
NEW YORK (Tuesday, March 20, 2018) – Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the third week of the 2018 MLS season.
Martínez scored three goals in Atlanta’s 4-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC in front of 45,003 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday. The 24-year-old now has 23 goals in 23 MLS regular season games played and has scored four hat tricks, one away from the current MLS record of five. Atlanta sits third in the Eastern Conference standings with six points (2-1-0 record), while Martínez tops the league with four goals scored this season.
The Venezuela National Team forward began his day with a penalty kick goal to the bottom right corner in the 15th minute for an early 1-0 Atlanta advantage (Watch Goal). After a Vancouver own goal, Martínez extended the lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute. Miguel Almirón sent a ball into open space, freeing Martínez to outpace the defense and finish with an uncontested right footed shot to the left side of goal (Watch Goal).
Martínez then completed his hat trick in the 88th minute to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead after Andrew Carleton, the 17-year-old Homegrown midfielder, sent a beautiful cross into the box, and Martínez elevated to finish with a powerful header to the center of net past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic (Watch Goal).
Atlanta United returns to action on Saturday, March 31 to face Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium (8:00 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE).
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada. Learn more about the NASR and apply to join at https://www.facebook.com/soccerreporters/.