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 26 following his MLS record-setting 28th goal of the season in Atlanta’s 2-1 victory over Orlando City at Orlando City Stadium on August 24.
The 25-year-old Venezuelan set the MLS single-season goals record previously held by Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski and Bradley Wright-Phillips with eight games remaining on the schedule. It was Martinez’s ninth consecutive match with a goal, equaling the all-time MLS record, and his 28 goals in 26 matches give him a scoring rate of 1.08 goals per game. Atlanta leads the Supporters’ Shield race with 54 points (16-4-6) and maintains a 14-1-4 record this season when Martinez scores a goal.
Martinez scored his league-leading ninth game-winning goal for Atlanta in the 74th minute at Orlando after both clubs scored first-half goals. Midfielder Julian Gressel played a ball just outside the penalty area to Martinez, who eluded Orlando City defender Jonathan Spector with a quick cut towards the center of the box and then cooly chipped goalkeeper Joe Bendik. As the ball hit the back of the net, Martinez ran to celebrate his record-breaking goal in front of the visiting supporters section (Watch Goal).
This is Martinez’s fourth Player of the Week selection of 2018 after receiving the honor in Weeks 3, 14 and 21. 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 Sunday, Sept. 2 at D.C. United. Kickoff from Audi Field is set for 7:30 p.m. EST and the match will be nationally televised on FS1.