Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 21 following his record-setting sixth career MLS hat trick in Atlanta’s 3-1 victory over D.C. United at Mercedes Benz-Stadium on July 21.
The 25-year-old Venezuelan has recorded six hat tricks and 41 goals in 42 MLS appearances. He leads the Golden Boot race with 22 goals, nine more than the next closest competitor, and became the first player in MLS history to score 22 goals through the first 22 matches of a season. Martínez is averaging .98 goals per game and 1.1 goals per 90 minutes through his first 42 career MLS matches, the highest marks in league history.
Against D.C. United, Martínez equalized the match in the 30th minute when he beat goalkeeper David Ousted to a Tito Villalba cross and headed the ball into the net. Martínez then scored his seventh game-winning goal of the season in the 54th minute as he headed home a deflected cross at the far post. The striker then capped off his historic day in the 73rd minute as he ran onto a loose ball and rounded Ousted before passing the ball into an open net.
This is Martinez’s third Player of the Week selection of 2018 after receiving the honor in Weeks 3 and 14. The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada.
Atlanta United returns to action Saturday, July 28 at Montreal Impact. Kickoff from Stade Saputo is set for 7 p.m. EST and the match will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southeast.