Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez set two MLS records Sunday with a goal in against NYCFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The first record was scoring in his 10th consecutive league game. Martinez co-held the record with Portland’s Diego Valeri, who set it in 2017. Martinez tied it last season and again this season.
The second record was the most goals (69) in three consecutive seasons in MLS. Martinez held that record with the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips. Martinez declined to talk after the game.
“What record doesn’t he have?” Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “We are probably a bit spoiled. The ball goes into the box and you expect him to pop up and score from whatever angle, not matter how difficult the pass is, the ball is.”
The goal came on a header in the 42nd minute and gave Atlanta United a 1-0 lead.
Manager Frank de Boer said, “the header was top quality.”
The goal was assisted by Pity Martinez and Julian Gressel.
Martinez was a surprise inclusion in Atlanta United’s starting 11 because he sustained an abductor injury on Monday that prevented him from even traveling to Orlando for Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
Martinez has 20 goals this season. His five shots on goal ties the franchise record.
“Josef on 90-95 percent is still a great player,” de Boer said.
De Boer said it’s Martinez’s energy that is the most amazing of his skills that have led to the numerous league records he now holds.
“I think he demands from other players that they have to give the best out of themselves,” de Boer said. “He pushes them to the limit. I think that is amazing to see. He pushes himself to the limit to scoring goals and always eager to be there in front of the goal. He (also) expects that from his teammates. Sometimes, he’s angry about it when things aren’t going his way, but he keeps everybody awake.”
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