Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that striker Josef Martinez will miss around 4-6 weeks with a left quad injury.
This is a tough blow for the Five Stripes as Martinez is the current goal scoring leader in all of Major League Soccer with five league goals in just three matches. Extend that period to preseason and he's scored nine goals in just six total matches with the club.
Martinez suffered the injury while on international duty with Venezuela in a World Cup qualifier against Peru. The incident occurred in the 55th minute on a shot attempt, with his left foot hitting the turf awkwardly. After the match, La Vinotinto manager Dudamel stated he thought it would only take 10 days for Martinez to recover. Unfortunately, that timetable was too optimistic.
For Atlanta United, they must now attempt to replace their most dangerous goal threat for at least a month. Options to do so include moving Yamil Asad from left wing to striker. We saw that a bit in preseason and it worked some. Another possibility is giving the reins to Kenwyne Jones, a veteran of world soccer and a proven goal scorer. His track record is undeniable, but there are questions about whether or not his style of play fits Tata Martino's plans. Other options include U.S. youth international Brandon Vazquez and the newly acquired Bryan Rochez.
This isn't the news any of us wanted to hear, but it's part of the sport. It could've always been worse, so be thankful that it's only this.