Josef Martinez: I have fond memories of Atlanta United

Josef Martinez looked happy, expressed big goals for his new club, Miami, and thanked Atlanta United supporters Wednesday.

A few hours after it was announced officially that Atlanta United had bought out a portion of Martinez’s contract, and that he agreed to join Miami, he was introduced to media in South Florida.

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“I have many fond memories. I was with them for six years,” he said. “There were many good memories, some others not so much, but at the end I keep the good memories, the trophies that we won together, and all the love that the people showed me. Being here is a big challenge. New changes always come with lots of expectations. The important thing is to take it step by step. We know that we want to win titles, and we hope that we can together achieve that joy because that is what we aim for.”

Atlanta United will play at Miami on May 6. Miami will play at Atlanta United on Sept. 16. Martinez traded his No. 7 that he wore while scoring 111 goals and leading the Five Stripes to three major trophies for No. 17 with Miami.

“I come here hungry,” he said. “The players, the club, want win the Cup. We work for that.”

Miami finished eight points ahead of Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference standings last season. Its leading scorer, Gonzalo Higuain with 16 goals, retired.

“It’s a little bit weird, but I’m excited to be here,” Martinez said. “We want to win. We want to be better than last year. With a beautiful stadium and beautiful crowd, we can make something special.”

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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