Atlanta’s Josef Martinez breaks MLS season goal record
ATLANTA (AP) — Josef Martinez broke the MLS season goal record with his 28th, giving Atlanta United the lead in the 74th minute in a 2-1 victory over Orlando City on Friday night.
Martinez ran past the defense for a through ball, cutting back his defender and chipping it over Joe Bendik. Martinez briefly looked back at Bendik before taking off his jersey and celebrating with teammates.
Martinez broke a tie for the record with Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski and Bradley Wright-Phillips. Lassiter set the record in 1996 for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the league’s first season. Wondolowski matched it for the San Jose Earthquakes 2012, and Wright-Phillips had 27 goals for the New York Red Bulls in 2014.
Martinez has scored in nine straight matches, tied for the longest streak in league history, and the 25-year-old Venezuelan star still has eight games remaining the regular season.
Atlanta (16-4-6) extended its undefeated stretch to seven games to remain atop the Supporters’ Shield race. Orlando (7-16-2) had its winless run extended to six matches — including five losses.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez opened the scoring in the 21st minute for Atlanta by knocking in a rebound from a free kick. Scott Sutter tied it at 1 in the 39th for Orlando by sending home Will Johnson’s back-heel pass.
GALAXY 1, LAFC 1
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 499th career goal in the first half, and Carlos Vela converted a penalty early in the second half in the third edition of the new rivalry game dubbed El Trafico.
Ibrahimovic reached the precipice of the 500-goal milestone crossed only by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among active players, and the Galaxy hung on late to finish their first regular-season series against their expansion rivals with one victory and two draws.
Both Los Angeles clubs’ biggest stars scored in front of a sellout crowd of 27,068 packing StubHub Center for what has already become one of Major League Soccer’s best derbies. Three sections full of LAFC supporters were already singing and chanting nearly two hours before kickoff, and they never stopped while separated from the Galaxy faithful by cordons of security guards in the aisles.
LAFC (12-7-7) earned the 43rd point of its debut season to push the club past Sporting Kansas City into second place in the Western Conference standings. The Galaxy (10-9-8) pulled into a fourth-place tie in the West with their 38th point despite playing without injured stars Romain Alessandrini and Giovani Dos Santos.