2. Josef Martinez
The 2018 MLS regular season is in the books, and after 34 games, Josef Martinez has 31 goals to his name and six assists to go along with. Martinez was named a Landon Donovan MLS MVP finalist this week and he is the frontrunner for the award after his record-breaking season.
Although he has put together one of the best seasons in MLS history from an individual standpoint, he has gone cold in front of goal over the final stretch of the season. In the final eight games of the season, Martinez only found the back of the net three times in two of those games. His most recent goal was a penalty against Toronto that held no bearing over the outcome of the match.
There’s no other way to say this: Martinez has to score if Atlanta want a chance to win. At the very least, Martinez has to create space in the attack for his teammates to score. His scoring drought hasn’t had a huge effect on the team, as the Five Stripes have won five of those eight games during his less than stellar form.
In just two seasons, Martinez has racked up 50 MLS goals. Even more impressive is Martinez only started half of the games during last season. Yet of all those goals, only one has been against NYCFC. He has only played them twice, with both of those matches coming this season. This may be an advantage and Martinez may be able to catch NYCFC off guard. Atlanta will need it.