Atlanta United have placed Josef Martinez on the season-ending injured list, the club announced Friday. He is officially out for the rest of 2020 but Atlanta will get roster relief and flexibility, which they used to sign Erick "Cubo" Torres.
Martinez suffered a torn ACL in the club's first game of 2020.
“Josef’s rehab is progressing well and is going to plan; however, it was important for us to make this move as it gives us roster relief and flexibility for the rest of the 2020 season,” VP and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “We will miss his ability and leadership on the field this season, but we look forward to having him back at the start of preseason next year.”
Martinez, 27, had the most productive three-season scoring stretch in MLS history, scoring 77 goals in 83 league appearances. His 31 goals were good for an MLS single-season record in 2018, before LAFC's Carlos Vela bested that total with 34 last season. He won the Landon Donovan 2018 MLS MVP, picked up MLS Cup MVP honors as his side lifted the trophy as well as a three-time MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star selection. He also led his side to triumphs in the 2018 US Open Cup and 2018 Campeones Cup.
Atlanta United struggled at the MLS is Back Tournament in his absence, losing all three games 1-0.