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It didn’t take long for Josef Martínez to make an impact on the league after his return to Atlanta United. Just two MLS appearances since coming back from arthroscopic surgery, the striker earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Week, the league announced on Tuesday.

The honors are a result of Martínez’s performance in Atlanta United’s 2-0 win over Inter Miami CF on Sunday, his first MLS start since April. The striker scored a goal, his third of the season and first since March 19. He also recorded an assist to help Atlanta pick up three points at home.

It’s the second time this season that Martínez was given the weekly award. He also landed on the MLS Team of the Week after his multi-assist match back in Week 1 in Atlanta United’s 3-1 over Sporting Kansas City. He was the first member of Atlanta United to receive league honors this season.

Martínez returned to Atlanta United in May after missing several weeks with the club. On April 8, the club announced Martínez would have surgery to clean out some debris in his right knee, the same knee where he tore his ACL back in 2020.

He returned to training in mid-May, and on May 28 in Atlanta United’s match against Columbus Crew, Martínez made his first appearance since the absence. He was sent on as a sub at halftime and played 45 minutes.

“I feel much better,” Martínez said. “I still need to try to get my rhythm because I was out for a long time, but I’m feeling good.”

Coming out of the June international break, Martínez started Atlanta United’s next two matches. In the American Family Insurance Cup against CF Pachuca on June 14, Martínez scored a goal in the fifth minute. He also assisted Luiz Araújo’s goal in the eighth minute to lead Atlanta United to a 3-2 win. Martínez earned Man of the Match honors for the performance.

The veteran’s return has given Atlanta United a lift. Including the friendly against Pachuca, Martínez was a factor in four of Atlanta’s last five goals.

“I remember last year when I was saying ‘Josef is a warrior,’ it’s because I was seeing him play through pain,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said after the Pachuca match. “So now he feels much better. Now, he’s back to 100 percent physically. So now, he can put this type of performance that was really good, not just on the soccer side, but also as a leader.”

Not only does Martínez help the team with his production, he also provides leadership. In both starts this week, Martínez served the role of captain.

“He was the guy that was lifting the spirits for the team, pressing, starting the pressures, getting inside the box, talking to his players, making them comfortable for things and that’s the type of Josef that we all love, that we all want,” Pineda said. “So, I hope that these types of performances just build for the next few games. “

Martínez and Atlanta United look to carry over the results from the multi-match week into the upcoming three-game road trip to Toronto and New York. Stay tuned to ATLUTD.com for the latest coverage.