Atlanta United Forward Josef Martínez Voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week
NEW YORK (Tuesday, June 5, 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 14th week of the 2018 MLS season.
Martínez scored three goals in Atlanta’s 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in front of 45,140 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday. The 25-year-old tied a league record with his fifth career MLS hat trick, accomplishing the feat in a mere 34 matches played. Atlanta sits first in the Eastern Conference standings with 29 points (9-3-2 record), while Martínez tops the league with 12 goals scored this season.
The Venezuela National Team forward began his day with a penalty kick goal in the 21st minute for an early 1-0 Atlanta advantage (Watch Goal). Martínez scored again in the 49th minute to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Miguel Almirón sent a perfectly placed ball into the box, threading a pass between Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and a defender to an open Martínez, who calmly finished with a deflection to the center of goal (Watch Goal).
Following a Philadelphia goal, Martínez then completed his hat trick in the 83rd minute to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead with a powerful penalty kick goal just inside the left post (Watch Goal). In 34 career MLS regular season matches, Martínez has scored 31 goals for a 0.91 goals-per-game average, the best in MLS history among players with at least 20 career goals scored.
Atlanta United returns to MLS regular season action on Saturday, June 9 when traveling to face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
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/.