Atlanta United Kicks Into Action


Stephen Bernadino, Staff Writer

The “Five-Stripes” currently sit third in the MLS Eastern Conference, with 2 wins and a loss in three games.

After the 2-1 loss against New York Red Bulls, Atlanta demolished fellow expansion team Minnesota United and Chicago Fire, scoring 10-1 during the last two games.

With 11 goals scored and 3 conceded, it is no surprise that Atlanta United quickly jelled their chemistry into almost perfection. However, as April approaches, Atlanta has to face their away games without their star striker, Josef Martinez, who scored 5 of them.

The Venezuelan striker picked up a leg injury during the World Cup Qualifiers against Peru. According to the nation’s manager, Rafael Dudamel, it may take around 10 days for Martinez to recover. However, Atlanta United recently announced that it may take 4-6 weeks for the 23 year old striker to be back in action.

“Being in soccer for so many years you get used to the injuries,” said Tata Martino, the manager of Atlanta United. “For us, at first it’s unfortunate, but as the same time we have to keep thinking about our team. We have players who are capable of substituting Josef.”

It is still unsure whether Kenwyne Jones or Yamil Asad would replace the Venezuelan striker. Other options include U.S. youth international Brandon Vazquez and the newly acquired Bryan Rochez.

“It’s difficult,” said defender Tyrone Mears, per FOX Sports South.

“Josef has been great. We saw his talent in preseason. Personally, I knew he was going to score a lot of goals in this season. Certainly in this league, this conference, he’s one of the top strikers. He’s only had a few games, but he will definitely be considered that at the end of the season. I have no doubts about that.”, he continued.

Atlanta United is set to face the reigning MLS Cup Champions, Seattle Sounders on the 31st of March.