Josef Martinez is on track to shatter the MLS single-season goalscoring record after taking his tally to 27 in Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over Columbus Crew.
Venezuela international and former Torino forward Martinez tied the record with his 31st-minute goal against the visiting Crew on Sunday.
Martinez broke the deadlock for Eastern Conference leaders and Supporters’ Shield pacesetters Atlanta when the 25-year-old curled a shot past Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
That strike matched the achievements of Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Roy Lassiter (1996) with nine matches still remaining.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) August 19, 2018
“I tied it, but what I really want is to break it,” said Martinez. “Once I break it, then I’ll be even more happy. When I get to 28, then I’ll have something.”
Gyasi Zardes equalised five minutes into the second half but quick-fire goals from Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron – who was played in by Martinez – ensured Atlanta stayed three points clear atop the east.
The Crew, meanwhile, remain fourth and 12 points adrift of Atlanta after their three-game winning streak was ended.
Elsewhere, the resurgent DC United moved within six points of the play-off positions with a 2-0 win over 10-man New England Revolution, while high-flying Los Angeles FC defeated Colorado Rapids 2-0.
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