Venezuelan scores 28th goal of season, 47th of MLS career
ORLANDO, Fla. — Josef Martinez broke Major League Soccer’s single-season scoring record with his 28th goal in Atlanta United’s 2-1 win against Orlando City SC Friday night at Orlando City Stadium. Martinez also scored in his ninth-straight match, tying the MLS record for most consecutive matches with a goal.
With a tie score of 1-1, Martinez made history in the 74th minute on a play which began with a give-and-go between Tito Villalba and Julian Gressel in Atlanta’s half of the field. Gressel received a pass on the right side and cut back through the midfield. He found Martinez unmarked on the left side where the Golden Boot leader took one touch inside the box, cut back on his right foot and chipped the ball over Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik to break the record.
Atlanta applied heavy pressure from the outset and found the game’s breakthrough from a set piece in the 21st minute. Ezequiel Barco took a free kick that flew just over the head of Martinez and called Bendik into action. Bendik chested the ball into the path of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, whose shot hit the goalkeeper, ricocheted back off Pirez and finally rolled into the net to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
Orlando equalized in the 39th minute after a nice build up down the right side. Chris Mueller passed to Will Johnson inside the penalty area where he backheeled the ball for Scott Sutter, who rushed into the box and drove a shot into the top-left corner.
Orlando almost found a second equalizer in the 79th off a corner. Johnson struck the ball at the near post for Dom Dwyer who headed the ball back toward the far post, but Brad Guzan pushed the ball out for a corner with his left hand. The win was Guzan’s 15th of the season and broke his previous single-season record of 14 wins set with Chivas USA in 2007.
Atlanta United (16-4-6, 54 points) returns to action next Sunday, Sept. 2 when it travels to play D.C. United (8:00 p.m., FS1, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Atlanta United 2, Orlando City SC 1
Orlando City Stadium
Shots: 19-6 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 10-3 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 7-11 Orlando
Saves: 3-8 Orlando
Clearances: 13-23 Orlando
Offside: 0-1 Orlando
Possession: 62-38 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 91-85 Atlanta
ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez 21’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ORL – Scott Sutter (Will Johnson, Chris Mueller) 39’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Julian Gressel) 74’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ORL – Will Johnson (yellow) 60’
ATL – Josef Martinez (yellow) 74’
ORL – Oriol Rosell (yellow) 86’
ORL – Jonathan Spector (yellow) 90+4’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Julian Gressel; Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi; Tito Villalba (Miles Robinson – 83’), Miguel Almirón, Ezequiel Barco (Kevin Kratz – 90+1’); Josef Martinez (Romario Williams – 90+1’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Jose Hernandez, Andrew Carleton, George Bello
ORLANDO CITY SC STARTING LINEUP
Joe Bendik; Victor Giro, Shane O’Neill, Jonathan Spector ©, Scott Sutter; Carlos Ascues (Stefano Pinho – 67’), Oriol Rosell; Josue Colman (Pierre Da Silva – 61’), Will Johnson (Jose Villarreal – 88’), Chris Mueller; Dom Dwyer.
Substitutes not used: Tony Rocha, Dillon Powers, Amro Tarek, Earl Edwards Jr.
Ismail Elfath(referee), Eduardo Mariscal (assistant), Jose da Silva (assistant), Sorin Stoica (fourth), Caleb Mendez (VAR).
- Josef Martinez broke the MLS single-season goal record by scoring his 28th in the 74th minute. He passed former-leaders Roy Lassiter, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Chris Wondolowski.
- Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored his second career goal for Atlanta United. His first was against FC Dallas Sept. 10, 2017 in the inaugural match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was the first goal in the venue’s history.
- Martinez also scored in his ninth consecutive match, tying the league’s all-time record of nine, held by Diego Valeri.
- Brad Guzan recorded his 15th win of the season, breaking his previous single-season record of 14 wins set with Chivas USA in 2007.
- Julian Gressel picked up his 10th assist on the season on Martinez’s goal. Gressel has now passed his assist tally from his rookie season last year (9).
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 383rd career game, good for fourth place all-time in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also started his 364th career MLS game, also ranking in fourth place in MLS history by a field player.