Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez has been named 2018 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player. The 25-year-old scored 31 goals in 34 regular season games this year, breaking the previous record of 27, shared by Bradley Wright-Phillips, Chris Wondolowski and Roy Lassiter. Martinez is Atlanta's all-time leading goalscorer with 50 MLS goals in two seasons.
Martinez’s 31-goal season was enough to demolish the old single-season record of 27. His marksmanship in front of goal was the catalyst for Atlanta United’s second-best record in the league and has continued to carry them in the playoffs, all the way to their first MLS Cup. With his three goals in the playoffs so far, he’s broken Roy Lassiter’s record for most combined (regular and postseason) goals in a season.
Through his first two seasons for Atlanta, he’s managed an astonishing 50 goals in just 54 regular season appearances. The striker won with a total of 48% of the MVP votes, followed by teammate Miguel Almirón (15%) and LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic (12%).
He's the first Venezuelan to be named MLS MVP and only the eighth South American to lift the trophy.
MLS’s new goal king gets his deserved crown. He’ll add this to the Golden Boot he’s already collected. There’s only one major trophy left for him to capture. He’ll be looking to complete the triple crown on December 8.