Atlanta United’s Martinez, Hernandez called up by Venezuela

Venezuela's Josef Martinez (left) and Uruguay's Jose Gimenez battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the World Cup Qatar 2022 Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Caracas, Venezuela. (Matias Delacroix/AP)

Credit: Matias Delacroix

caption arrowCaption
Venezuela's Josef Martinez (left) and Uruguay's Jose Gimenez battle for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the World Cup Qatar 2022 Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Caracas, Venezuela. (Matias Delacroix/AP)

Credit: Matias Delacroix

Credit: Matias Delacroix

Atlanta United will likely be without striker Josef Martinez and fullback Ronald Hernandez for at least one game during its push to secure a playoff berth because they were called up by Venezuela for three of its World Cup qualifying matches.

The matches are against Argentina on Sept. 2, Peru on Sept. 5 and Paraguay on Sept. 9.

Atlanta United is scheduled to play Orlando at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 10.

Both players will be available for Saturday’s game against Nashville on Saturday against Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta United has 27 points. It is in eighth place in the MLS East with 13 games remaining. It is tied with D.C. United on points but behind in tie-breakers. It trails Nashville by five points.

They may not be the only Atlanta United players called up by national teams. The U.S. team will be announced Thursday morning. Centerback Miles Robinson is expected to be called up after his fantastic performance in the Gold Cup. Fullback George Bello may be called up.

The U.S. will face El Salvador on Sept. 2, Canada on Sept. 5 and Honduras on Sept. 8.