Josef Martínez scores when he wants.
On Sunday, Atlanta’s striker found the back of the net for the 27th time this MLS season. With that, he matches the all-time single season record. But more than that, there are eight regular season matches remaining. In other words, Martínez is probably going to shatter the record.
After not being able to cut it with Torino — 13 goals in 76 matches — the Venezuelan forward has found his place in Atlanta. And he’s not letting up either. In 45 MLS matches with Atlanta, Martínez is sitting on 46 goals. Meanwhile, Atlanta currently find themselves on 51 points — three up on the New York Red Bulls (who have a game in hand) — in the Eastern Conference.
But with Martínez scoring goals at will, is a trip back to Europe weighing on his mind? Back in May, that wasn’t the case at all.
“I’m not thinking about going back to Europe, I just think about the next match,” he said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca at the time.
“…I like to win and if we’re not focused, we’re going to lose matches. We always try to do things well and make our fans happy with our goals. We know if we do positive things on the pitch, everyone leaves happy.”
So far, so good. On the one hand, Atlanta does just keep on winning. But also, Martínez is happy in MLS. He likes where the league is going.
“I am happy because there are many South Americans in MLS, we are changing the idea that MLS is not a competitive league, it is a league that is growing, and it is nice to be part of it.”
Why ruin a good thing, right?
Up next, Martínez and company take on Orlando City on Friday. They currently find themselves second-last out East. How long will it take him to notch No. 30?