You might already know Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez became the quickest player in MLS history to record his fifth hat trick, doing so in his 34th MLS game in the Five Stripes' 3-1 win Saturday night over the Philadelphia Union.
Turns out, that's not the only way Martinez has a chance to make league history, according to MLS' Week 15 News and Notes.
Martinez's next hat trick would be his sixth in MLS, and would make him the sole career leader in the stat. He currently sits tied on five with Stern John and Diego Serna. And with two hat tricks this season, Martinez is half of the way to setting a new single-season hat trick record. (He had three last season, which also ties him with Serna, John and others.)
Hat Tricks, MLS Career (League Games)
Then there's a matter of overall scoring rate. Martinez leads all MLS players to play at least 20 matches in career goals scored per appearance (0.91) and goals scored per 90 minutes played (1.03). You can take a Stern guess who is runner-up in those categories as well.
Goals Per Game (Career Leaders)
Goals Per 90 Minutes (Career Leaders)
Stern John eventually parlayed his two years of MLS success into a long career in England, so it's fair to wonder whether he could've produced at his same MLS rate had he remained in North America.
The same may be asked of Martinez going forward as well. Though opposing MLS defenses this season will do so at their peril.