Editorial (July 22, 2018) – Josef Martinez did it. He scored three times in the Atlanta United 3-1 victory over DC United on Saturday to break the MLS record for the most all-time hat-tricks with six.
What is even more stunning? Simple. Martinez broke the record in his second season in the league and has scored 42 goals in 44 games so far. He’s a scoring machine.
Josef Martinez Is He Too Good For MLS?
Many things have been said about the 25-year-old Venezuelan, who also reached the net for the fifth straight match, But nothing has really been spoken about the league.
There’s no doubt, Martinez is a talented player, but what if the MLS has not a strong level?
It looks like Martinez is too comfortable on the pitch, he makes that goalscoring seems effortless, though, he’s not done yet.
Stars Last Trip
For years, the MLS has aimed to be related to more to Europe than China, but as well as the Asian country, MLS is the place where the big names come to retire.
There are a bunch of recent examples. The English Wayne Rooney, the Swedish Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the Spaniard David Villa, who starred in Europe, decided to play in the MLS to earn some good amount of money before the retirement ultimately arrives.
The Italian Andrea Pirlo and the Brazilian Kaka are other examples of world-class players who see the MLS as their goodbye league.
The greatest exception to this rule is when the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham in 2007. That moment appeared to be the turning point for the MLS, but the league ended up receiving big names who just passed their primes instead.
Seeing that the MLS dilemma is to bring top players, they have to focus on maintaining the great players they already have. Of course, Josef Martinez is the sensation right now.
Martinez came to the US after a disappointer performance in Italy’s Serie A club Torino, where he scored 13 times in 76 games and his last season was especially poor, scoring only two times.
Atlanta United signed him after Torino loaned him, and for sure, the MLS fan base has enjoyed what Martinez has brought to the table.
The striker not only broke the hat-trick record, but he did it in 44 games, that’s an unthinkable feat the Venezuelan, who has earned Player of The Month twice as well.
Martinez effect is easy to notice in the city while the fans at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium also broke a record of attendance in the MLS five times in over a year mostly because of the Venezuelan.
ATLANTA, you've been nothing short of amazing 🙌
You are the new standard. pic.twitter.com/pBdHNUDzk0
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) July 17, 2018
Martinez almost has the Golden Boot on his bag as he leads the goalscoring table with 22 goals, only five goals shy of the shared MLS record of 27 goals in a single season between Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski, and Bradley Wright-Phillips. There are still 12 games remaining to set a new record.
The MLS’s level will take some time to be more like Europe than other around the world, though, keeping players like Martinez is the key for the league.
However, everything seems set for Martinez to return to Europe at the end of the season.