Daily Sports Smile: Atlanta United celebrates Josef Martínez's 100th MLS goal with special video tribute

Jul 24, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) controls the ball against the Columbus Crew at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Atlanta United FC striker Josef Martínez has quickly ascended into one of the best players in Major League Soccer. Martínez is the dynamic leader of Atlanta United and his presence is far reaching across the pitch.

On Wednesday, Martínez scored his 100th MLS goal against Inter Miami. The goal came on a penalty kick in the 78th minute as Atlanta United improved to 10-8-9 overall. Martínez became the fastest player to reach 100 goals across all competitions.

Martínez achieved the milestone in 125 games. It was a special moment on the pitch for the talented striker and his teammates. However, Atlanta United saved the true celebration for later in the week.

The club honored Martínez with heartwarming messages from family and friends. Several former teammates Michael Parkhurst, Miguel Almirón and Joe Hart expressed their gratitude. Former Atlanta United coach Tata Martino also sent along a congratulatory message.

“You are the best in the MLS to ever do it dude,” Parkhurst said. “There is a reason why you are the king. Love you man.”

Atlanta United President Darren Eales agreed.

“Josef, congratulations on your 100 goals,” Eales said. “Man, that is an amazing achievement. You are a legend. Thanks for all you’ve done for the club. Keep it going and get to 200 (goals).”

Martínez also heard from his parents, grandparents and nieces. It was a touching moment as he became emotional hearing their support.

After reaching 100 goals, Martínez told his teammates how grateful he was to be apart of the club. He also received a special jersey to commemorate the moment.

“I love everyone, and I love this city,” Martínez said to his teammates. “I love you guys and the guys in the past. This is not only my day, but this is for everyone.”

Atlanta United has won four of their last five games. They are currently in the playoff mix as they sit inside the top 8 in the Eastern Conference.