Atlanta United's Josef Martinez Named Major League Soccer's MVP

Dec 5, 2018

Major League Soccer named the Atlanta United's Josef Martinez the league’s Most Valuable player Wednesday.


The United's forward led the league in goals scored this season with 31, breaking the MLS singles season scoring record.

As the United get ready to compete for the MLS Cup this weekend, his efforts were rewarded with an MVP trophy.

Atlanta United president Darren Eales heaped praise on the star player. 

Martinez celebrated with fans after the United defeated the New York Red Bulls in the MLS playoffs.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

"He's just the greatest pure goal scorer the MLS has had in its 23-year history,” Eales said. “It's an honor and a privilege to have him as part of our club and part of the city of Atlanta. Josef, we can't thank you enough and let's just hope you've got a few more goals in your locker for Saturday night."

The United face off against the Portland Timbers Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the MLS crown.

During the trophy presentation, the United played a tribute video from other Atlanta athletes who had won league MVP trophies. The list ranged from former Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones who won the award in 1999 to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan who was named NFL MVP during the 2016-17 campaign.

But being named an MVP in Atlanta before a big game or series hasn’t turned out well. After Jones won the award, the Braves were swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Most recently, after Ryan’s MVP campaign, the Falcons lost Super Bowl 51 in overtime 34-28, blowing a 28-3 lead.