Atlanta United picked up a big win against Orlando City on Friday night over their local rivals. Here are three things we learned from the historic night.
Atlanta United traveled to Orlando on Friday night and won 2-1 over the Lions. The night featured a historic goal by Josef Martinez and a stunner from Orlando City’s Scott Stutter. A familiar face returned to Atlanta’s Starting XI, the Five Stripes’ newest father, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored a goal of his own, and Tata Martino’s team is still undefeated against Orlando.
Atlanta is still atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with 54 points and are currently on pace to break Toronto FC’s single season points record. They are two points clear of New York Red Bulls and are very close to clinching a playoff spot. Their road form is the best in the league, and after another road win on Friday night, they improved to 8-2-2 away from home.
See what three things we learned from Atlanta’s Friday night win.
3. Martinez makes history (again)
Josef Martinez is always a hot topic. It may be annoying, especially to those outside of Atlanta, but there’s a reason we talk about him every week: he does something special every single week. This past weekend, we witnessed history as Martinez scored his 28th goal of the season, breaking a 23-year-old MLS record.
The record breaking goal came on a poor Orlando pass in the attacking third, where Atlanta’s newest right back, Julian Gressel, pounced on the pass. After a quick give and go with Hector Villalba, Gressel sprinted down the right side and found Martinez. The MLS Goal King took the pass, made a quick move, then chipped Orlando keeper Joe Bendik for the record-breaking score. Martinez confidently stared down Bendik, who gave his best efforts at keeping Atlanta off the score sheet.
This is a typical Atlanta counter attack. The opposing team makes a poor pass, then an Atlanta player finds the ball and, after a few quick passes, they find the back of the net. The best part of this play, though, is during the run up to the box. Miguel Almiron running behind Martinez and across the group of Orlando defenders. He draws the Orlando players away from Martinez, which gives Gressel the opening he needs to find Martinez for the eventual goal.
With eight games left in the season, the Venezuelan Viper has a big opportunity to extend the record even further. Martinez was a popular pick for Golden Boot this season. Here at MLS Multiplex, he was the near unanimous choice for the award. He has absolutely run away with the award. It would not be surprising to see him overcome the 30-goal threshold.