Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez could be set to smash the MLS record for most goals scored in a single season. The record, which is currently jointly held by Roy Lassiter, Chris Wandolowski, and Bradley Wright-Phillips, stands at 27. Martinez has already netted 26 in just 24 appearances for Atlanta in 2018.
Nothing is ever certain in the world of football – particularly in the ever growing ever changing MLS. But with 10 games remaining for Atlanta United, Josef Martinez looks poised to become the league’s most prolific goalscorer of all time.
The dynamic Venezuelan arrived in Atlanta in February 2017 as a loanee from Serie A club Torino. 20 matches and 19 goals later, Atlanta decided to make Martinez a permanent fixture in their squad, a decision that has worked out well for both parties. Martinez has significantly stepped up his game in 2018, scoring his fifth hat-trick on June 2 in a match against Philadelphia Union – an MLS record.
Martinez has notched a brace in each of his last two matches, scoring twice in Atlanta’s 2-1 victory over Montreal, and netting two goals in the club’s recent draw with Toronto FC.
“If he can stay healthy and stay on the field, then there’s no doubt he’s going to break the record and hopefully score more than that,” said captain Michael Parkhurst after the match.
“Obviously, we all just hope that he continues his torrid form. He is unbelievable in front of the goal. I hope he doesn’t stop. I hope he keeps going. Hopefully, we can keep giving him good opportunities to score goals, and he can keep putting them in the net for us.”
“What’s he had, about two a game the past two games? How many games do we have left? Yeah, that’s 20 more goals,” said Jeff Larentowicz.
“It’s astounding, honestly,” he added. “It’s really special to see it every week. I think that he can keep going over 30. Then you just hope he remains hot. He’s kind of like a pitcher. You just leave him alone in the dugout.”
Atlanta currently sit top of the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of second-placed NY Red Bulls.