Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez tonight won the 2018 Major League Soccer Golden Boot, establishing himself among the global game’s scoring elite, with a record-breaking 31 goals this season. The 25-year-old Venezuelan reached the 30-goal mark faster than any other player in the world this season.
The 31 goals tallied by Martinez surpassed global scoring icons Cristiano Ronaldo (26, Real Madrid) and Robert Lewandowski (29, Bayern Munich). His league production is eclipsed only by the reigning Golden Boot winners from the English Premier League (Mo Salah – 32 goals for Liverpool) and La Liga (Lionel Messi – 34 goals for FC Barcelona).
With a goals-per-game average of .912 Martinez finished the season ahead of Mo Salah (.889) and in near reach of Messi’s per-match production (.944).
Martinez scored at record pace to reach the previous 27-goal record in only 25 games – faster than any other player in league history. The trio of Roy Lassiter (1996, Tampa Bay Mutiny), Chris Wondolowski (2012, San Jose Earthquakes), and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014, New York Red Bulls) all formerly held the mark, which the Atlanta striker tied on Aug. 19 and broke at Orlando City SC on August 24 (Watch Goal). That match was Martinez’s ninth consecutive with a goal, equaling the all-time MLS record he now shares with Diego Valeri.
Adding an MLS career hat-trick record to his accolades, Martinez netted his sixth MLS hat-trick on July 21. His 10 game-winning goals in 2018 lead the league and are second-most all time (Wondolowski, 11 in 2012).
Major League Soccer Golden Boot/Scoring Champion winners
Season Player Team Goals
2018 Josef Martinez Atlanta Untied 31
2017 Nemanja Nikolić Chicago Fire 24
2016 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 24
2015 Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 22
2014 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 27
2013 Camilo Sanvezzo Vancouver Whitecaps FC 22
2012 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 27
2011 Dwayne De Rosario D.C. United 16
2010 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 18
2009 Jeff Cunningham FC Dallas 17
2008 Landon Donovan Los Angeles Galaxy 20
2007 Luciano Emilio D.C. United 20
2006 Jeff Cunningham Real Salt Lake 16
2005 Taylor Twellman New England Revolution 17
Atlanta United (69 points, 21-7-6) returns to action Sunday, Nov. 4, in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.