Atlanta United grabbed an important three points from Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon. See what we learned from Atlanta’s big victory.
Atlanta United stretched their Supporters’ Shield lead to three points over the New York Red Bulls with their 3-1 home win over the Columbus Crew on Sunday. Atlanta entered the match in a tie with New York but handled Columbus en-route to the important win. Although Atlanta did not look like the better team for the entirety of the game, they did enough in the final 15 minutes to really put Columbus away.
Atlanta are now undefeated in six straight games, including seven points in a three-game home stretch. The win over Columbus is important in many ways: The Five Stripes have distance between them and New York in the Supporters Shield; this is a confidence-boosting home win; an undefeated streak heading into a four-game stretch on the road is preserved.
Here’s five things learned from Sunday’s match in Atlanta.
5. Josef Martinez continues to make history
Another game, another piece of history for Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan striker scored against Columbus for his 27th goal of the season, tying Roy Lasseter, Chris Wondolowski, and Bradley Wright-Phillips for most goals in a single season. Lasseter reached 27 goals in 32 games, while Wondoslowski and Wright-Phillips reached 27 goals in 34 games. Martinez reached 27 goals in 25 games. With nine games left in the season, there’s a very good chance Martinez breaks the record.
Other players around the league want to see the record broken, including Wright-Phillips himself. The Red Bulls striker recently had this to say about Martinez’s path to the single-season record: “…this guy is staking his claim as the best striker this season in MLS. That’s on everyone else to improve and catch up to him. I wish him the best of luck and hope he smashes that record.”
Not only is Martinez having a solid overall season, but his recent form has been red hot. Martinez is in the midst of an eight-game streak with a goal, which is one away from tying the record of nine straight games with a goal. Atlanta’s upcoming opponents are not particularly challenging, meaning we will likely see a new MLS single-season record for goals scored and possibly a record for consecutive games with a goal also.