180808_HatTrickKingJosef

How Josef Martinez became the MLS Hat Trick King in just 2 seasons

45 goals, 44 games – more than any MLS player ever in their first two seasons – that’s the historic pace that Atlanta United’s striker is scoring at and he still has 10 more matches remaining this year. Not only is he leading the Golden Boot race by a whopping margin of 11, but his 26 goals are just two shy of breaking the single-season record. And he's not one to tack on a goal here and there. When Josef Martinez scores, he scores in bunches, and that’s how he’s become the MLS hat trick king. Let’s take a look at his six-hat tricks that stand alone as the most in league history:

#1 | at Minnesota United (March 12th, 2017)

For Atlanta United fans who have been there from the very beginning, perhaps the most memorable hat trick for the Venezuelan international was his first. Through the blizzard in Minnesota, a fearless short-sleeved Josef Martinez found the net three times to help secure a giant 6-1 victory, marking the first win AND the first hat trick in club history. It was as if he could do no wrong in front of goal, beating the keeper smoothly in a one-on-one situation each time, with the first coming as soon as the 3rd minute:

#2 | vs New England Revolution (September 13th, 2017)

Once again, Martinez powered Atlanta United to another historic day as his hat trick in just their second match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium led them to tie the all-time MLS record for largest margin of victory, beating New England Revolution 7-0 on the night. However this time he found the net even quicker than he did in Minnesota, roofing a shot inside the near post in just the 2nd minute and following it up with two clinical finishes from the spot to complete the first-half hat trick:

#3 | vs Orlando City (September 16th, 2017)

Wherever Martinez goes, history seems to follow. On a day where Atlanta United broke the league’s single-match attendance record for the first time, Martinez also became just the fifth MLS player ever to record three hat tricks in a season. Orlando came out blazing, taking the upper hand on three different occasions, but any time they seemed to have found a breakthrough, Martinez had an answer. The match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Martinez successfully latching onto the end of three different services:

#4 | vs Vancouver Whitecaps (March 17th, 2018)

As Atlanta United welcomed the Vancouver Whitecaps to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time, the man they’ve dubbed the “Venezuelan Viper” showcased his remarkable scoring ability for the first time in 2018. After the Whitecaps captain earned himself a red card to take his team down a man early on, Martinez made them pay for it. Perhaps the most dynamic of all his hat trick performances, the striker proved he can beat you with pace, in the air and from the spot:

#5 | vs Philadelphia Union (June 2nd, 2018)

With the Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof open for the first time in 2018, everyone in the building could sense it was going to be a special night – and that it was. In the first half, Martinez proved to be too much to handle, causing Philadelphia to bring him down in the box. And again, after the opponents suffered a red card offence – in this case two – Martinez made the visitors pay for their mistake. Putting his expert marksman abilities from the spot on display twice on the night and getting on the end of a Miguel Almirón pinpoint cross, the Golden Boot leader completed his 5th career hat trick – tying the all-time MLS record:

#6 | vs D.C. United (July 21st, 2018)

Then came the record-breaker, and it was an impressive one as it was Atlanta United who had to overcome some early adversity. After conceding within the first six minutes, Atlanta shifted to a new gear and the rest of the show belonged to Martinez – in signature Josef fashion. Time and time again he has shown his incredible ability in the air and that was the case with his first two of the night, first beating D.C. goalkeeper David Ousted and then being the first to react to a deflected service to head home the second of the night. And for his cherry on top, ATL UTD fans would have it no other way with Martinez winning the foot race, juking the goalkeeper and slotting home the record-breaker front and center facing the raving ATL UTD Supporters’ Section:

Topics: