Josef Martinez has etched his name into the annals of soccer history…
The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional footballer, a striker for the Major League Soccer club Atlanta United, has become the first player in MLS history to be named the MVP of the All-Star Game, season and MLS Cup.
Martinez capped the Golden Trifecta by being named the MVP of Saturday’s title game, a 2-0 win over Portland at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Martinez scored the opening goal and added an assist on Franco Escobar’s capping goal.
Martinez is the third player in MLS Cup history to score a goal and add an assist in the same final. He is the second player in MLS Cup history to score a goal in the final in the same year as winning the Golden Boot.
Martinez was named the league MVP after setting an MLS single-season scoring record with 31 goals during the regular season. He added four more in the playoffs to set a league record for goals in a season.
He was named MVP of the All-Star game after scoring a goal against Juventus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I am most happy with the (MLS) Cup,” he said. “I think this team has had an incredible year, and I think we just have to appreciate the work of everyone this season, the players and coaching staff, because even though we had some ups and downs as a team, everyone on this team contributed something and made sacrifices. This is a win that we want to celebrate because it has been a long year and thank God also.”
Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank got to lift the trophy — less than two years after his other team, the NFL‘s Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse.