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ATLANTA (June 5, 2018) – 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 14 after scoring a combined four goals in Atlanta’s two matches, including his three-goal performance in Atlanta’s 3-1 win against Philadelphia Union at Mercedes Benz-Stadium on June 2.
The 25-year-old Venezuelan recorded his fifth career MLS hat trick against Philadelphia, tying the all-time league mark in just 34 games. He also scored in Atlanta’s 1-1 draw at New England on May 30, finishing a cross from Julian Gressel in the first half (HIGHLIGHT). Martínez leads the Golden Boot race with 12 goals this season and has now scored 31 goals in 34 MLS appearances. On June 2 he became the second-fastest player in MLS history to reach 30 goals with just 31 starts, and his 0.91 goals-per-game average is also tops in league history among players with at least 20 career goals scored.
Against Philadelphia, Martínez opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute, blasting a penalty kick into the upper left corner of the goal (HIGHLIGHT). In the 49th minute, Miguel Almirón sent a perfectly placed cross into the box and found Martínez between two defenders, who then calmly tapped the ball into the net (HIGHLIGHT). The striker completed his hat trick in the 83rd minute with another penalty kick, driving a powerful shot past a diving Andre Blake and inside the post (HIGHLIGHT).
This is Martinez’s second Player of the Week selection of 2018 after receiving the honor in Week 3. 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 sits in first in the Supporters’ Shield standings with 29 points (9-3-2 record). The club returns to action Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. EST against Charleston Battery in the U.S. Open Cup at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw. The match will be streamed at www.atlutd.com/live.