On the radar

World Soccer - - Contents -

The Venezue­lan striker set a new MLS record when he scored his 28th goal of the sea­son for At­lanta against Or­lando City.

Martinez had pre­vi­ously matched the record of 27 set by Roy Las­siter in the in­au­gu­ral MLS sea­son in 1996, and equalled by Chris Won­dolowski in 2012 and then by Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2014.

Martinez ar­rived at At­lanta last year with a mixed record in Euro­pean foot­ball, hav­ing failed to shine at Torino and dur­ing in­dif­fer­ent spells in Switzer­land with Young Boys and Thun.

But At­lanta coach Ger­ardo Martino was well aware of Martinez from his time in charge of Ar­gentina.

“We knew him well be­cause dur­ing Copa Amer­ica he drove us pretty crazy along with Salomon Ron­don up front,” says for­mer Barcelona boss Martino.

“In re­al­ity what hap­pened is I had to imag­ine him as a num­ber nine be­cause I’d never seen him play as a num­ber nine.

“But ex­actly what I like are num­ber nines who can play and not just fin­ish.

“Josef has 28 goals but also var­i­ous as­sists, some re­ally nice as­sists.”


The 23-year-old striker was signed from fourth-tier Ger­ma­nia Egestorf in the sum­mer and scored three goals in his first two games.

AXEL WITSEL (Borus­sia Dort­mund)

The Bel­gian mid­fielder joined the grow­ing band of Euro­pean re­turnees from the Chi­nese Su­per League and an­nounced him­self in the Bun­desliga with a fine per­for­mance in Dort­mund’s open­inground de­feat of RB Leipzig.


The Ar­gen­tinian was key as Wat­ford won their open­ing three games of a top-flight sea­son for the first time.

AN­DRE SILVA (Sevilla)

The Por­tuguese striker, who strug­gled at Mi­lan last sea­son, scored a hat-trick on his de­but in La Liga as Sevilla won 4-1 away to Rayo Val­le­cano.


The Ser­bian hit the ground run­ning in Am­s­ter­dam fol­low­ing his £10m sum­mer move from Southamp­ton, play­ing a key role in Ajax’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Cham­pi­ons League group stage.


The 23-year-old winger, signed by newly pro­moted Nimes from Lori­ent in the sum­mer, was out­stand­ing in his side’s 3-1 win over Mar­seille.

“Smart­phones kill my play­ers. Smart­phones kill the brain! They spend too much time on mo­bile phones. That’s de­stroy­ing them!” Gigi Be­cali, owner of Ro­ma­nia’s FCSB, on the ills of mod­ern foot­balling life

Record... Martinez

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