Venezuelan striker has 22 goals this season, six shy of breaking league’s single-season record
ATLANTA (July 21, 2018) — Atlanta United defeated D.C. United 3-1 behind Josef Martinez who notched his sixth career hat-trick to break the all-time MLS record. Martinez also increased his league-leading goal tally to 22 and needs six more to break the league’s single-season scoring record. Homegrown Andrew Carleton made his first career MLS start and recently acquired Eric Remedi made his team debut, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute for Tito Villalba.
D.C. United took an early lead in the eighth minute from Zoltan Stieber who finished off a counterattack. Exposed in the back with just Michael Parkhurst and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez behind for Atlanta, Paul Arriola raced down the center of the pitch and played the Hungarian winger out wide to the right. On the edge of the box, Stieber’s first touch put him roughly 15 yards out where he unleashed a left-footed shot toward the far corner for his fourth goal of the season.
Atlanta responded before halftime as Martinez finished off a long play with a variety of build-up. After taking on a defender, Carleton slipped a ball in for Martinez near the edge of the box that Martinez back-heeled for Miguel Almirón. The Paraguayan then played the ball out wide to Tito Villalba, who immediately drilled a cross into the box that Martinez was able to redirect into the back of the net to equalize.
Martinez then put Atlanta ahead for good in the 54th minute by heading in his second goal of the night. The play started along the right wing, as Carleton deked by Luciano Acosta to free himself to float a cross toward the back post. The ball took a slight deflection off of a D.C. United defender that went right to Martinez who calmly headed it into the back of the net.
He finished off his hat trick in the 72nd minute as Atlanta broke through on a counterattack. Almirón picked up a loose ball and ran toward goal despite being outnumbered and slide a ball through for Martinez. Steve Birnbaum tried to clear, but Martinez won the ball back and was in alone on David Ousted, where he juked the goalkeeper and tapped the ball in to finish his hat-trick.
Atlanta United (13-4-5, 44 points) returns to MLS action when it travels to face Montreal Impact on Saturday, July 28 at Stade Saputo (7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 1
Shots: 17-5 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 9-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 3-3
Fouls committed: 14-10 D.C.
Saves: 6-2 D.C.
Clearances: 20-10 D.C.
Offside: 3-2 Atlanta
Possession: 56-44 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 84-81 Atlanta
DC – Zoltan Stieber (Paul Arriola) 8’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Tito Villalba, Miguel Almirón) 30’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez 54’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez 73’ [HIGHLIGHT]
DC – Paul Arriola (yellow) 49’
DC – Wayne Rooney (yellow) 50’
DC – Christopher Durkin (yellow) 78’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar; Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel; Andrew Carleton (Brandon Vazquez – 65’), Miguel Almirón, Tito Villalba (Eric Remedi – 77’); Josef Martinez (Kevin Kratz – 85’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Miles Robinson, Mikey Ambrose, Romario Williams.
D.C. UNITED STARTING LINEUP
David Ousted; Joseph Mora, Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Oniel Fisher; Yamil Asad, Luciano Acosta, Christopher Durkin, Paul Arriola (Russell Canouse – 81’), Zoltan Stieber (Bruno Miranda – 76’); Wayne Rooney (Darren Mattocks – 66’)
Substitutes not used: Jalen Robinson, Ian Harkes, Junior Moreno, Steve Clark.
Drew Fischer (referee), Corey Rockwell (assistant), Brian Poeschel (assistant), Guido Gonzales (fourth), Kevin Stott (VAR).
- Atlanta improved to 2-3-2 when allowing the first goal of the match.
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 379th career game, passing Steve Ralston for fourth all-time in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also started his 360th career MLS game. He’s now tied with Bobby Boswell for fourth place in MLS history by a field player.
- Josef Martinez scored his league-leading 20th, 21st and 22nd goals of the season
- Martinez recorded his MLS-record 6th career hat-trick. He has played 42 career MLS games. He recorded three hat-tricks in 2017.
- Martinez became the 21st player in MLS history to score at least 20 goals in a single season
- Martinez now has nine career multi-goal matches in MLS
- Martinez is 10 goals clear of the next-closest goal-scorer in the golden boot race, Bradley Wright-Phillips (12)
- Miguel Almirón recorded his 10th assist, tied for second-most in MLS
- Tito Villalba recorded his 5th assist of the season
- Andrew Carleton made his first start in MLS
- Eric Remedi made his club debut as a second-half substitute