When the Fan XI for the 2019 MLS All-Star Game was announced, it included four Atlanta United players: Brad Guzan, Pity Martinez, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Ezequiel Barco. While a case could be made for Barco, Gonzalez Pirez and Guzan, that probably wasn’t the case for Pity, who has underwhelmed since coming to MLS.
Now a fifth Atlanta United player will be headed to Orlando. MLS announced its full roster for July 31’s event against Atletico Madrid, and Atlanta striker Josef Martinez is on the list.
Martinez started off well below his production of 2018, but has slowly rounded into form as he has settled into a newer role under Frank de Boer. After just 4 goals across 10 MLS games, he has scored six times in his last five matches. He is away from the club right now at Copa America, where he has scored a goal for Vinotinto as it prepares for a quarterfinal matchup against Argentina on Friday.
While it’s good to get this type of recognition from MLS, it’s always resulted in a bit of contention from fans across the league thanks to the potential of players getting injured during a midseason exhibition game, especially fans of teams that are firmly in the playoff race. Atlanta players were unscathed last year - the hope is that 2019’s edition will end the same way.