Josef Martinez Makes MLS History with His ‘Golden Trifecta’ 

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.

Josef Martinez

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.

Gonzalez Named a Correspondent for CBS’ NFL Pre-Game Show “The NFL Today”

Tony Gonzalez may be retiring from professional football, but he isn’t leaving the National Football League completely…

The 37-year-old part-Mexican American pro footballer, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection during his nearly 20-year NFL career, has signed on to appear as a correspondent for CBS‘ NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, next season.

Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez, the ex-Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end, will replace former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe on the panel.

Gonzalez, the first tight end to ever catch 1,000 passes, just retired from after the 2014 Pro Bowl.

“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement Tuesday. “As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports.

“While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade,” McManus continued. “Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

The news comes two weeks after CBS acquired the rights to air Thursday Night Football beginning this fall.

Gonzalez joins returning correspondents James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason. In addition to The NFL Today, he will also appear on Showtime‘s Inside the NFL and CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show.

Gonzalez Returns to the Atlanta Falcons’ Training Camp

It really is Tony Gonzalez’s last chance…

The 38-year-old part-Mexican pro football star is officially back with the Atlanta Falcons for one last opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring.

Tony Gonzalez

After considering retirement and ultimately deciding this spring to return, the tight end returned to the team for training camp but left shortly afterward. Gonzalez had made a promise to his 12-year-old son, Nikko, to be with him as he started his youth football career, meaning he was away from the Falcons for much of training camp.

But Gonzalez is now back with the team again, joining his teammates on Sunday and preparing to play in the Falcons next preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

“It’s time for me to get back there,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “I need to get some work with [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] and the offense. I’m excited.”

The Atlanta Falcons are closing their training camp on Sunday, but Tony Gonzalez is expected to get some work in before it closes.

Even though he’s approaching 40, Gonzalez still has a lot left in the tank. Last year he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl for the 13th time.

His return gives the Falcons one of the most unstoppable receiving corps in the National Football League. Gonzalez remains a dangerous player with a knack for getting open.

For Tony Gonzalez, 2013 represents the last chance to win a Super Bowl. Until last season he had never won a playoff game, but this year the Falcons are a favorite of many NFL observers to win it all.

Gonzalez to Play One Final Season with the Falcons?

It looks like Tony Gonzalez isn’t about to ride off into the sunset just yet…

Despite hinting at retirement last season, the 37-year-old part-Mexican pro football star has reportedly changed his tune.

Tony Gonzalez

The reason? A $7 million contract and a reduced training camp schedule.

The Atlanta Falcons tight end, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-time All-Pro, has apparently told people he’ll be back for one more season with the Falcons, according to Fox Sports.

“I was done, I thought I had my mind made up,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “This whole year I knew it would be my last but the way our final game ended and talking to the guys in the locker room, in the end it was too difficult of a way for me to step away from the game.”

Gonzalez was in tears at the end of last season as his team lost in the NFC Championship game to the San Francisco 49ers.

Only one week before that heartbreaking loss, Gonzalez was part of his first playoff victory in his 17-year career.

Gonzalez was intent last season on focusing on his family. But he says he’s hoping to achieve the one thing that has eluded him in his career so far.

“I am coming back for one reason and one reason only,” he told Fox Sports. “The chance to win a Super Bowl.”

Cruz Earns First Pro Bowl Nomination…

He’s only been playing in the NFL for three years, but Victor Cruz has already reached a major career milestone…

The 26-year-old half-Puerto Rican New York Giants wide receiver has earned his first Pro Bowl nomination. Cruz will be joined by two of his teammates, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and guard Chris Snee.

Victor Cruz

“I’d like to thank all of you who voted for me for this years Pro Bowl. I’m honored to represent the New York Giants,” tweeted Cruz after learning he’d made the NFC reserve team.

Cruz, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2011 who held lead his team to victory at this year’s Super Bowl, holds the Giants franchise record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,536.

But Cruz wasn’t the only Latino footballer to earn a Pro Bowl nomination…

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was named to the NFC first team. It’s the 36-year-old part-Mexican American football star’s 13th Pro Bowl selection of his career.

Gonzalez is the Pro Bowl all-time leader in receptions (48) and touchdowns (6).

The 2013 Pro Bowl, the NFL’s all-star game for the 2012 season, will take place on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

“Gonzo” Moves Past Terrell Owens…

Move over Terrell Owens! There’s a new man taking up the fifth spot on the NFL’s career receiving list: Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez.

The Cuban-American NFL star moved into the No. 5 spot last night during the Falcons’ comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Gonzalez, an eleven-time Pro Bowl selection, now has a whopping 1,081 career receptions.

During Sunday’s oh-so-thrilling game, “Gonzo” caught two touchdown passes to help propel Atlanta to a 35-31 win over the Eagles.His first touchdown catch was pure perfection — possibly one of his greatest grabs ever. Close to the end of the second quarter, “Gonzo” made a nimble catch at the back of the end zone with one hand and managed to keep both feet in-bounds as he fell out of the back of the end zone.

“I knew I had the catch,” said Gonzalez. “I didn’t know if I had the feet down.” Check out the highlight-reel-worthy catch below:

Gonzalez kicked off the scoring in the second half of play with a 17-yard TD catch about three minutes into the game. He ended the night with seven receptions and 83-yards.

After playing college football at the University of California, Berkley, Gonzalez was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft.

Gonzalez, an eleven-time Pro Bowl selection, currently holds the NFL records for single season receptions by a tight end, career touchdowns by a tight end, career receptions by a tight end and reception yards by a tight end.

Images courtesy of Keith Srakocic/Associated Press & John Amis/Associated Press.