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Josef Martinez voted MLS Player of the Week

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted the Week 14 Major League Soccer Player of the Week following his two performances leading Atlanta to victories over Minnesota United and Chicago Fire. The Venezuelan striker tallied two goals in each match to earn his first Player of the Week award of the season.

With Atlanta leading 1-0 heading into stoppage time, Martinez iced the match against Minnesota with two goals in quick succession. In the 91st minute, Martinez received a pass from Julian Gressel and raced towards the Minnesota goal. The Venezuelan was able to get around two defenders at the top of the box and unleashed a strong right-footed shot to beat goalkeeper Vito Mannone at the near post (watch goal). Later in the 94th minute, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez cleared a ball upfield to Ike Opara, who attempted to head the ball back to Mannone. However, Martinez was positioned 10 yards behind Opara and collected the errant pass. One-on-one with Mannone, Martinez calmly dribbled to the edge of the penalty area and finished off a curling shot to the top-left corner (watch goal).

Against Chicago, Martinez opened the scoring in the 12th minute on a play that began with Franco Escobar dribbling free down the right on a counter attack.  The right back laid the ball off for Pity Martinez, who then cut inside and played a give-and-go at the edge of the box to draw a pair of defenders to him. Pity Martinez slipped a pass to Josef Martinez, who coolly one-timed a low shot past goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm (watch goal). Later in the half, Martinez out-muscled a defender near the midfield stripe and raced in on goal alone. With Kronholm coming out to narrow the angle, Martinez hit a low shot into the bottom left corner to score his fourth goal of the week (watch goal).

Martinez has now scored five in his last three games, 10 on the season, which ranks him third in MLS. This marks the seventh time in Martinez’s career that he has been voted MLS Player of the Week. He won the award twice in 2017, before adding four weekly honors during his 2018 MVP campaign. It’s the 12th time in team history that an Atlanta United player has won the MLS Player of the Week award.

Atlanta United (8-5-2, 26 points) returns to action Tuesday, June 11 against Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN+, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game). Atlanta’s next MLS Regular Season match is Wednesday, June 26 against Toronto FC at BMO Field (8:00 p.m. EST, FOX Sports South, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

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