Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez set the MLS single-season goal record with his 28th of the campaign during Friday night’s game against host Orlando City.
The Venezuelan Martinez set the record in the 74th minute when he received a pass from teammate Julian Gressel and sidestepped Orlando City defender Jonathan Spector. Martinez chipped the ball over Lions goalkeeper Joe Bendik to give Atlanta United a 2-1 lead at the time. It proved to be the decisive goal, as Atlanta United extended their unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) and their MLS points lead to five (54-49) over the New York Red Bulls.
“It’s a big relief for me,” Martinez said of setting the record.
After scoring, Martinez removed his jersey, held it up and raised it in the direction of the fans, drawing a yellow card.
Roy Lassiter (1996), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014) shared the old mark of 27.
“We knew Josef was going to break the record, it was just a matter of he did it sooner or later,” Atlanta manager Tata Martino told reporters. “The good thing is he did it sooner, so now this will calm him down. On top of that he did it with a very nice goal.”
Martinez has scored 14 goals over the last nine matches, and nine over the last five. He figures to stretch the record well into the 30s with eight regular-season matches remaining.
—Field Level Media