Josef Martinez units sights on Atlanta United’s MLS opener against Orlando City SC: “The daddy is back”

After a year away due to a torn ACL, Josef Martinez continues to be working his manner back to 100% on the field. However his press conference kind is already mid-season. 

Martinez spoke with media on a digital press conference Friday, taking questions on his rehab, return to coaching and loads extra, however nothing brings a smile to his face greater than answering questions on rival Orlando City SC.

“The daddy is back,” Martinez said with a buoyant smile. 

Atlanta United open their MLS marketing campaign on April 17 against Orlando. Martinez has seven goals in six video games against the Lions, unbeaten in these matches, winning 5. He scored his then-MLS single-season report twenty eighth goal against Orlando in 2018, then a year later, he prolonged an MLS-record of goals in 12 consecutive appearances against the identical opponent. 

“As soon as the schedule was launched with Orlando as the primary recreation, I used to be getting feedback on social media about it,” Martinez said. “I’m working hard to get back to 100%, it’ll be as much as the teaching workers. I’m ready for that recreation.”

Technical director Carlos Bocanegra advised media a number of weeks in the past that Martinez is predicted to be obtainable for selection when the membership opens Concacaf Champions League play on April 6 against Alajuelense. 

Martinez suffered a torn ACL in Atlanta’s opening MLS match of 2020 against Nashville SC, limiting his season to just 69 minutes. Atlanta cratered in his absence, failing to make the playoffs and struggling mightily to score goals, discovering the net just 23 instances in 23 video games. That was second-worst in MLS.

It hasn’t been a simple restoration for the former Landon Donovan MLS MVP, who said he wanted 5 surgical procedures on his injured knee. The identical surgeon who operated on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s knee took care of his procedures. 

“It was a tough path, the day-to-day was powerful,” Martinez said. “I cried at instances, up till even last week once I was in a position to get on the field and play within the first scrimmage.”

Optimism is excessive surrounding the 5 Stripes heading into 2021, led by Martinez’s return. Rising Argentine manager Gabriel Heinze has been appointed head coach — somebody Martinez endearingly said would “100% kill you” — to return the membership’s high-energy, attacking ethos of their first two seasons under Tata Martino. Extremely proficient midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra have headlined the reinforcements on the field as well. 

“We’ll run lots and we’ll combat lots,” Martinez said. “That’s it.”

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