Atlanta United

Josef Martinez provides fitness update ahead of 2022 MLS season

Lizzy Becherano
Josef Martinez explains what he wants to accomplish in 2022 with Atlanta United
Josef Martinez explains what he wants to accomplish in 2022 with Atlanta United / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez is keen to have an improved Major League Soccer season this time round, eyeing the Championship after failing to progress through the playoffs last year.

The Golden Boot winner didn’t hold back in expressing his disappointment at Atlanta United’s performance in 2021, but hopes that experience will motivate the group moving forward. 

“Everyone on the team wants to get to the Championship, which we know will be a difficult task to complete. Above all, I want to see Atlanta United the way we are used to seeing it,” he said exclusively to 90min.

When asked about individual goals, the Venezuelan international was quick to respond: “I want to remain fit.” 

In 2020, Martinez suffered a torn ACL during Atlanta’s first match of the year. He went on to miss the remainder of the season, forcing him to sit on the sidelines for over 11 months. 

Upon returning from his injury, Martinez made sure to maximize his time on the pitch. Last season he became the fastest player in MLS history to reach 100 goals. 

Now, the player insists he is stronger than ever but cautious to remain that way. 

“Individually, my goal is to remain fit throughout the season and further myself from my past injuries. I am feeling a lot better than I was last year. The past couple of days have been phenomenal, especially as I return to action in regular training sessions and matches. We will obviously see how the season goes but let’s hope I say the way I feel right now.”

Atlanta United returns to action on February 27 when hosting Sporting Kansas City to kick off the 2022 Major League Soccer season.