Atlanta United is set to finally get a much-needed break coming up in the next three weeks. The same cannot be said for a handful of their stars, however. The first official name that will be busy while the “international break” occurs is Josef Martinez. The Five Stripes’ leading scorer was named to Venezuela’s final 23-man roster for the Copa America on Thursday.
After Atlanta’s match against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, Martinez will depart for La Vinotinto who in addition to the Copa America will play three friendlies in the build-up. Josef will miss the first against Ecuador that takes place on that same Saturday. After that, he’ll be with the squad when they play Mexico at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 6. They will finish their Copa prep with a friendly against the United States the following Sunday on June 9.
Their Copa America group stage begins June 15 against Peru, continues on June 18 vs. Brazil and concludes on June 22 against Bolivia.
Josef could miss no MLS matches for Atlanta United or as many as four, depending on how far Venezuela progress into the tournament. Atlanta resumes league play on June 26 with a trip to Toronto. The Copa America knockout stages begin on June 27 and the final takes place on July 7.
Congrats to Josef on getting to play in this prestigious competition and good luck to him.