After scoring a sublime, game-winning goal that also broke a record nearly as old as the league itself, it’s no great surprise that Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez has been voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 26.
The Five Stripes’ Venezuelan marksman has been churning out goals at a dazzling rate all season, and on Friday night he bagged his long-awaited 28th goal of the campaign to earn ATLUTD a 2-1 Heineken Rivalry Week win over their Southern adversaries Orlando City SC.
Receiving an incisive pass from Julian Gressel and bewitching Joe Bendik with a couple of quick cuts before delicately chipping his finish over the Lions’ goalkeeper, Martinez passed the previous MLS single-season scoring record, jointly held by Roy Lassiter (1996), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014).
And he’s got eight more games remaining in which to pad his total as league-leading Atlanta chase the Supporters’ Shield. The Five Stripes return to action on Sunday with a trip to Audi Field to face Eastern Conference counterparts D.C. United (7:30 pm ET | FS1 – Full TV and streaming info).
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.