Josef Martinez

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MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 4-0 LA Galaxy (video)

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The match in 100 words (or less): Somewhere, Atlanta United is still scoring now with 19 goals in its last five outings. The “Five Stripes” fired at will for the second-straight game, leading 3-0 before Jermaine Jones made it academic with a silly red card. Yamil Asad had two goals and two assists in the first half, while Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez also scored. For Martinez, it’s seven goals in seven days. LA has quit, and Tata Martino’s Atlanta may just pose a threat to Toronto FC’s presumed MLS Cup Final spot.

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Three moments that mattered

13′ — Maaaaayyyybe defend, LA? — It’s one thing for Rafael Garcia to back off and back off and back off and back off Yamil Asad. It’s another thing to fail in any attempt to mark the hottest scorer in MLS: Josef Martinez.

20′ — Three goals in seven minutes — About that “defending”… woof. This is a straight-up passing drill for ATL.

39′ — Jermaine Jones rolls back the years (not in a good way) — The combustible midfielder showed that vibes haven’t settled in LA despite Sigi Schmid’s presence, taking an easy red considering VAR’s abilities for dragging his cleat in the direction of a fellow human’s spine.

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Man of the Match: Asad

Goal scorers: Martinez (13′), Asad (16′, 20′), Almiron (43′)

MLS Snapshot: Martinez, Dwyer, Larin score all 6 in ATL, ORL thriller

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The game in 100 words (or less more): First of all, let’s start with the numbers and get those out of the way. In three games at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, there have been 16 goals scored (13 by the home side, Atlanta United). Seven of those 16 goals have been scored by Josef Martinez (16 in 14 games this season), including three more (his second straight hat trick, joining Eddie Johnson and Robbie Keane as the only players in MLS history to achieve the feat) in Saturday’s breathtaking 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC.

On the other side, Dom Dwyer bagged his first two goals for Orlando City, while Cyle Larin also got his name on the scoresheet to bring his season tally to a dozen. While the six goals were certainly thrilling for the new MLS-record 70,425 fans in attendance, the result is hardly ideal for Atlanta (43 points), who so desperately needed to make good on their games in hand. With seven games left to play, Tata Martino’s side sits fifth in the Eastern Conference, just two points back of the Chicago Fire (with a game in hand), and seven back of second-place New York City FC. Orlando, meanwhile, remain ninth in the East, six points back of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — TFC’s Shield chase continues in LA ]

Three Four Five Six moments that mattered

10′ — Dwyer heads home at a near-impossible angle — It took him seven appearances and 445 minutes, but Dwyer has his first goal since being traded to Orlando at the end of July.

36′ — Martinez taps home at the back post for 1-0 — Julian Gressel did the really hard part, keeping the ball in play and somehow sliding it past Joe Bendik. Martinez arrive to the right place at the right time, and it was 1-1.

39′ — Dwyer does it again, puts Orlando back ahead — 445 minutes for his first goal, but just 29 minutes for his second. 99 percent of strikers are streaky scorers, and Dwyer has never been any different.

55′ — Martinez rises above to head ATL level — Chris McCann’s cross begs to be headed into the back of the net, and Martinez duly obliges.

58′ — Larin heads home Dwyer’s cross to restore the lead — Scorer turns assister, as Dwyer floats the ball to the back post for Larin.

69′ — Martinez slots home at the near post for 3-3 — Martinez explodes into the space as he races to get onto the end of Hector Villalba’s cross. Terrible recognition on the defense’s part, and brilliant movement by Martinez.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Dwyer (10′, 39′), Martinez (36′, 55′, 69′), Larin (58′)

ATL’s Martinez bags first half hat trick, Revs have two sent off (video)

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Who needs an MLS Snapshot when a score line reads 4-0 at halftime and the home team finishes the first 45 minutes up two men.

That’s right, two.

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The New England Revolution, with their playoff lives hanging in the balance, allowed a hat trick to Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez and a fourth goal to on-loan Spurs man Anton Walkes in the first half at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Georgia.

They went on to lose 7-0, as Hector Villalba, Kevin Kratz, and Yamil Asad scored in the second half.

Martinez, 24, arrived in Atlanta from Torino before the season. The Venezuelan now has 13 goals and an assist in 13 MLS matches.

As if a four-deep hole wasn’t enough of an obstacle, New England saw two players sent off via VAR: Xavier Kouassi and Antonio Mlinar Delamea.

Kouassi saw straight red for a foul upon video review, while Delamea picked up his for DOGSO on Martinez’s penalty. It was 1-0 when Kouassi was sent off and 2-0 when Delamea left the match.

Enjoy this while you can, because scouts abroad will be salivating at the prospect of Atlanta’s Martinez and teammates Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron.

MLS Snapshot: ATLUTD run wild on FCD in stadium opener

Photo credit: Atlanta United / @ATLUTD
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The game in 100 words (or less): Stock up — Atlanta United. The expansion side looked favorites to qualify for the playoffs before Sunday’s 3-0 drubbing of FC Dallas, but following that lopsided victory in their first-ever game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Tata Martino’s side looks destined to climb the Eastern Conference standings over the final two months of the regular season. With three (or four) games in hand on just about everyone above them, and seven of their final nine games to be played at home, third place is very much in play. Stock way, way, way down — FC Dallas. Eight games without a win (five losses), FCD have slipped all the way to seventh in the Western Conference. Oscar Pareja’s side isn’t scoring goal, but more importantly they’re conceding a boatload (19-7 combined score during that eight-game skid). Fortunately for FCD, there aren’t five four three good teams in the West, let alone the six it would require for them to miss the playoffs.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Week 26 | Weekend preview ]

Three moments that mattered

14′ — Gonzalez Pirez taps it home for a 1-0 lead — You might have been hoping for a more memorable first goal in stadium history, but they all count the same in the end.

26′ — Hedges clears Martinez’s shot off the line — Martinez had beaten Jesse Gonzalez, but Matt Hedges never gave up on the play and arrived in the nick of time to keep the deficit at one goal. At the time, it seemed a potentially game-changing event. Alas…

46′ — Martinez makes it 2-0 after 27 seconds — Walker Zimmerman committed an indefensible turnover in the midfield, which is the last thing you want to do against Atlanta. Watch how quickly (six seconds from center circle to ball-in-net) they transition from pressing to attacking. (That’s 11 assists on the season — second in this game — for 23-year-old Miguel Almiron.)

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Man of the match: Miguel Almiron

Goalscorers: Gonzalez Pirez (14′), Martinez (46′), Garza (68′)

MLS Snapshots: Manneh inspires Crew SC; Philly, Atlanta win at home

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete
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Columbus Crew SC 4-1 Montreal Impact

Three moments that mattered

17′ — Higuain’s free kick beats Bush — Aided by a slight deflection off the top of the wall, Higuain put a free kick past Evan Bush to give the home side an early lead.

70′ — Manneh makes an immediate impact — The initial ball from Higuain is what you came here for, but the elementary defending by three Montreal defenders is what’ll keep you glued until the very end.

72′ — Manneh sets up Kamara for 3-1 — Kekuta Manneh had been on the field for all of three minutes, and he put a goal and an assist to his name. Most importantly, three points to that of Crew SC.

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Man of the match: Federico Higuain

Goalscorers: Higuain (17′, 88′), Jackson-Hamel (19′), Manneh (70′), Kamara (72′)


 

Philadelphia Union 1-0 D.C. United

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Blake gets down to deny Harkes from distance — Ian Harkes had picked out a spot just inside the far post, but Andre Blake was well up to the task of denying DCU’s homegrown rookie.

31′ — Picault slams Bedoya’s cross — Alejandro Bedoya’s cross has some serious loft on it, which it makes it so tough to keep the ensuing shot low and to hit it with such power. Fantastic finish from Picault.

70′ — Blake stone-walls Neagle from the spot — It’s a pretty poor penalty from Lamar Neagle, but it’s a massive moment so badly needed by Andre Blake who’s been well off his own standard this season. Don’t be surprised if it’s a season-turning save for the talented Jamaican.

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Man of the match: Andre Blake

Goalscorers: Picault (31′)


 

Atlanta United 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Three One moment that mattered

67′ — Martinez turns and beats Howard for the game’s only goal — You can’t give Josef Martinez this kind of space, and this kind of time, around the six-yard box. He’s shown us seven times already this season (in just seven games) how deadly he is from there.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Martinez (67′)