Atlanta United star Josef Martinez sidelined with ACL tear

Atlanta United star Josef Martinez might be lost for the 2020 MLS season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Nashville SC in their season opener.

Martinez hurt his knee in a collision with Nashville SC defender Dave Romney. He tried to continue but collapsed to the ground minutes later and had to be stretchered off.

The Venezuelan will undergo surgery on a date to be determined and then begin the rehabilitation process. No time frame for his return was mentioned.

Two other MLS players recently suffered ACL tears. D.C. United star Paul Arriola's layoff was put at up to nine months. LA Galaxy defender Danilo Acosta will be out of action for 7-9 months, according to his club.

Martinez has scored 77 goals in 84 league appearances. He scored a new record 31 goals and was named league MVP in 2018 when Atlanta United won the MLS Cup. It won the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup in 2019.

Losing Martinez is a devastating blow for Atlanta United, which must play Mexico's Club America in the Concacaf Champions League. Martinez scored the winning goal when Atlanta United beat Club America, 3-2, to win the 2019 Campeones Cup.

Atlanta United's only other forward is Adam Jahn, picked up from the USL's Phoenix Rising in the offseason.

Head coach Frank de Boer said after the Nashville game he would ask Atlanta United management to sign a replacement for Martinez. Atlanta United has one Designated Player spot open.

Atlanta United opens at home on Saturday against FC Cincinnati. It faces Club America in the CCL quarterfinals on March 11 and 18.

5 comments about "Atlanta United star Josef Martinez sidelined with ACL tear".
  1. R2 Dad, March 2, 2020 at 11:45 a.m.

    An unfortunate coming together was the cause of the injury--bad news for this excellent talent but he should be back for 2021. At least it wasn't one of those premier league leg-breaking tackles England is known for.  A Stoke/Burnley type of assault on skilled players at the beginning of the season would have sent the wrong kind of message about MLS.

  2. beautiful game replied, March 2, 2020 at 12:26 p.m.

    You forgot to mention the derelict and enabler referee in this contest who let the players get away with numerous cardable offenses.

  3. Nick Gabris, March 2, 2020 at 12:44 p.m.

    It is the responsibility of the referee to keep control of these games and start showing the yellow or red cards and protect the players. Recently in the game between LAFC /Leon, Vela was consistantly hacked and the Ref did nothing and so the game deteriated to a level where it was not fun to watch, was a very weak ref and yet had a FIFA badge on????? 

  4. David Ruder, March 2, 2020 at 2:43 p.m.

    The revamped and re-coached Chicago Fire Vs. Seattle was probably the most entertaining MLS game seen in a while. In the first half, the Fire thought they were Liverpool, in the second half Seattle came alive with the insertion of Jordan Morris. The Chicago Coaching staff must not have known the speed of Jordan Morris or they dint have anybody to keep up with him. By leaving him unguarded on the back post with minutes left on a corner kick, cost them the game. I still don't understand why coaches don't protect at least one goal post on a corner kick. How many times do we see easily defensible goals scored in these set plays?. As a former youth coach, depending on the situation, one goal post was always covered.  I think that the Fire will be one top 5 Teams in the MLS and with this game against the defending, it will give the coaching staff a good idea where to improve.

  5. frank schoon, March 3, 2020 at 10:08 a.m.

    That is a real shame for Atlanta, for the league ,for the fans and most importantly for those young players who could learn from the way he plays/SCORESL.  I find Joseph a truly genuine goal scorer for the MLS,for this what this league needs ,GOAL SCORERS.....

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