Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 3 following his three-goal performance in Atlanta’s 4-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Mercedes Benz-Stadium on March 17.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan forward now has 23 goals in 23 MLS regular season games played and has scored four hat tricks, one away from the current all-time MLS record of five. Atlanta sits third in the Eastern Conference standings with six points (2-1-0 record), while Martinez leads the league with four goals scored this season.
Martinez scored the game’s opening goal with a penalty kick to the right corner in the 15th minute for an early 1-0 Atlanta advantage (Watch Goal). After a Vancouver own goal, Martinez extended the lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute, running onto a ball from Miguel Almirón and past Vancouver defenders before firing a right-footed shot into the net (Watch Goal). Martinez then completed his hat trick in the 88th minute when 17-year-old Homegrown midfielder Andrew Carleton sent a beautiful cross into the box and Martinez elevated to finish with a powerful header past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic (Watch Goal).
Martinez won Player of the Week twice in 2017 and was also the only player to win MLS Player of the Month two times. He scored 19 goals in just 20 appearances in his debut season and was a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year.
Atlanta United returns to action Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. EST at Minnesota United. The match will be televised on FOX Sports South.