One of the most intriguing aspects of any season in Major League Soccer is the race for the Golden Boot. From year to year nobody ever really knows what’s going to happen in terms of the goalscorers, and we kind of love that sense of uncertainty. Regardless of whether you’re a casual fan or a diehard, the unpredictability of the beautiful game keeps us all on our toes from time to time.
This year, it’s pretty clear to see that Carlos Vela and Josef Martinez are going to be squaring off until the very last game of the campaign in the race to score more goals than one another. They could even end up going head to head in the MLS Cup playoffs, which would certainly add an entirely new element into this ‘feud’ of sorts.
Making all the right moves
As reported by Goal and Sports Illustrated, despite the fact that he has been behind for most of the season, Martinez continues to make history with Atlanta United as they attempt to repeat as champions.
Martinez was able to score in his eleventh consecutive game, helping ATL to win 2-0 against Portland Timbers in an MLS Cup Final rematch of the highest proportions. The win leaves Atlanta right where they want to be in the race for the playoffs, but in many ways, this means so much more than that.
A lot of fans were questioning whether or not Josef could rise to the level that has been set by Carlos Vela this season, and that kind of push seems to have done wonders for his game. There are still some questions as to whether or not Atlanta are good enough to compete with this year’s truly elite sides in the MLS, but if Martinez has anything to say about it, they’ll certainly be in the conversation.
He is just so natural on the ball, to the point where we’re pretty confident in saying that he could succeed over in some of the major European leagues too. However, even with that being the case, we don’t necessarily think that he even needs to do that.
Rise to the top
You hear the argument that truly great MLS players should test themselves in Europe in order to get some true competition, but why should he? The level of talent in North America is growing with each and every passing year, and Martinez is right at the core of that.
He’s playing some of the best football of his career, and there’s absolutely no point in bringing that to a stop just for the sake of risking it all.
If there’s a big payday that comes alongside it then perhaps that changes things just a little bit, but we’re fairly certain he’s still getting looked after really well over in Georgia.
The MLS needs way more stars like this kid, and Carlos Vela had better watch out, because the race for the Golden Boot is going to be tighter than anyone could’ve anticipated.