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DSS Bracket of Brackets Championship Preview: The Argument for “Josef”

Flatten The Curve

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With March Madness out of the picture, it was time for a more refined, elegant bracket. Where’s the actual bracket you might ask? We couldn’t afford the program to make it and we didn’t have time to use the free services. We are aware we have nothing but time right now, we’re just lazy.

We’ll get to the end and find out who the real winner is of...umm...whatever this is. Whoever has the most votes wins each round. Duh.

We’ll be straight up and say that these options and rankings were all totally arbitrary and aided by quarantine bourbon.

We have reached the championship round. The two options remaining are 1-seeded “Josef” and 9-seed “MLS Cup 2018.” However, we wanted to present arguments on both sides before you people vote all uninformed like. Here, DSS’s Kyle Soto presents an argument for “Josef” over “MLS Cup 2018.”

For a recap of round one, click here.

For a recap of round two, click here.

For a recap of the Elite Sixteen, click here.

For a recap of the Sweet Eight, click here.

Please stay inside and help Flatten The Curve. And thank you to all of those on the front lines fighting the pandemic. You’re the real heroes.

Josef Martinez or Atlanta’s MLS Cup triumph in 2018.

Atlanta United’s most important win or Atlanta’s United’s most important player.

It's obvious why both of these choices made it to the final of Dirty South Soccer’s Bracket of Brackets, but the question remains: Which is more important, and why is it Josef?

Firstly, I will acknowledge the importance of Atlanta’s MLS Cup. For a second year expansion team to secure the pinnacle of the league before some teams even qualified to make an appearance in the playoffs is hilariously sweet, especially after an emphatic home win in the semi-final series over a team that has given Atlanta United trouble from the club’s first game in 2017. December 8, 2018 was one of the most memorable days of my life, and there is no denying the importance of that victory.

But would Atlanta have even been in the final if not for Josef? This is obviously a hypothetical — an alternate reality where Atlanta makes it to and wins the final without Josef’s contribution isn’t inconceivable — but Josef’s importance to the team, especially in 2018, has always been undeniable. His then record breaking goal tally in the regular season and contributions throughout the playoff run highlight all the praise he’s rightly earned during his time as an Atlanta United player.

But it's also about what he's done off the field.

Calling him a cult hero would be an understatement. Yes, he is undoubtedly a hero and loved by many in Atlanta, but he's also one of the faces of Major League Soccer. This sentiment was highlighted when he tore his ACL in the league opener in Nashville, and support from around the league and the world came flooding in.

His connection with the fans has only improved since his arrival to Atlanta. So much so, they made a mural. (Build the statue)

Josef Martinez and Atlanta United are intertwined. The success of both entities are United, and it's difficult to envision an Atlanta United team, or a 2018 MLS Cup victory for that matter, without Josef. The memories he’s created for Atlanta fans, his confidence, and basically everything else about him has created a fan favorite and local hero before our very eyes.

Winning on the field is important, but so are the life-long lasting memories that soccer creates.

Josef and the MLS Cup triumph have done both, but Josef’s connection and stature give him the edge.