Release from Atlanta United:
Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the second week of the 2017 MLS season. Martinez scored three goals during Atlanta’s 6-1 win over Minnesota, notching the league’s first hat-trick of the season.
Martinez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan Designated Player, was unfazed by the wintry weather, registering his first three goals in an Atlanta uniform despite playing in the coldest recorded game in MLS history. It started in the 3rd minute after being played through by fellow Designated Player Miguel Almiron. Then, Martinez easily beat Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage with a rolling shot to the far post.
His second came seconds after a re-start, this time being played through by Yamil Asad. Again, Martinez was able to beat Alvbage after getting behind the Minnesota defense. He finished his hat-trick in the 75th minute, again getting behind the Minnesota defense thanks to a through ball from Hector Villalba. Martinez then dribbled around Alvbage and slotted one into an empty net.