ATLANTA — Josef Martinez got his just desserts for breaking Major League Soccer's single-season scoring record, along with carrying Atlanta United to their first-ever MLS Cup title.
On Tuesday, Martinez inked a five-year extension with United, a major commitment to Atlanta, while silencing all the offseason rumors of a possible transfer to another soccer league.
"This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique," said Martinez.
"(The fans) recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that's why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I've always had. I've said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city."
By late August, the prolific Martinez had already secured the single-season goals record; and by the end of the regular season, his 31 tallies (and 10 game-winners) were easily enough to clinch the league's Golden Boot award.
Martinez was similarly stellar in the playoffs, scoring four postseason goals–highlighted by his opening-salvo goal against Portland in the MLS Cup.
(Martinez subsequently claimed MVP honors for that incredible night.)
"Josef is an exciting, dynamic player and has proven himself to be one of the best in MLS over the past two seasons," says Atlanta United president Darren Eales.
"In addition to breaking the league’s scoring record, his work ethic and determination were rewarded by being named League MVP, and most importantly, MLS Cup champion with his teammates. We're excited to secure Josef’s long-term future in Atlanta and we look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments together."