Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez training by himself ahead of possible trade

Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez is training with a staff member away from other players at the MLS team’s practice facility as a precautionary measure to avoid him suffering an injury ahead of a potential trade, manager Gonzalo Pineda said Friday.

Martinez, the MVP in 2018, reportedly is of interest to Miami.

Nothing is expected to be finalized for several days.

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Martinez is being shopped for several reasons. Among them is that he is in the last year of his contract. Also, he and Pineda had a falling out last season that resulted in a shouting match after a loss to Portland, which resulted in Martinez being suspended for a week.

With Martinez possibly leaving, Pineda said the team is trying to add three players at three different positions very soon. Pineda declined to say which positions. The team needs a striker, a central midfielder and another centerback. Should the team trade Martinez, the only other true striker on the roster is Jackson Conway, who spent last season with Atlanta United 2. The central midfielders are Amar Sejdic and Franco Ibarra, and the centerbacks are Miles Robinson, who is returning from a ruptured Achilles suffered last season, JuanJo Purata and homegrown signee Noah Cobb.

“As you may know, the market is not that easy,” Pineda said.

Pineda said he wasn’t concerned that the roster was not yet complete. The team’s first league game will come Feb. 25 against San Jose at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“It is not a big drama to me,” he said. “And we’ll have players in time.”

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan said the players aren’t letting what is happening with Martinez distract them. He said they understand Martinez’s importance to the franchise, but they also are professionals and recognize that transactions happen.

“We’ll carry on and (are) going about our work in a way that hopefully makes us better day after day and gear up for Game 1,” he said.

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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m.

March 4 vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

March 11 at Charlotte FC, noon, Fox

March 18 vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.

March 25 at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

April 1 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

April 8 at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

April 15 at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

April 23 vs. Chicago Fire FC, 4:30 p.m., FS1

April 29 at Nashville SC, 1:30 p.m., Fox

May 6 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

May 13 vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m.

May 17 vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.

May 20 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.

May 27 at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.

May 31 vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m., FS1

June 3 at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.

June 10 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 21 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

June 24 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m., Fox

July 8 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

July 15 vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 20 at Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 26 vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 30 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 2 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 vs. Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, TBA