Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez has won the MLS Goal of the Year for his cheeky 65th-minute tally in Week 29 against FC Cincinnati Sept. 18.
Martínez became the second Atlanta player to earn this honor, joining Héctor Villalba (2017).
The winner was unveiled during Matchday Central on MLSsoccer.com, prior to the conference semifinal stage of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Fans selected from 16 Goal of the Year nominees via online voting.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan forward has been the most prolific goalscorer over MLS’s past three seasons, and this goal against Cincinnati set an MLS record: 15 consecutive games with a goal (21 goals during that stretch). That 15-game streak ties for the second longest goalscoring streak in world soccer since MLS began play in 1996, behind only FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (21-game streak in 2013-14).
The MLS goal of the year sequence started with Martínez reaching back with his right heel to flick the ball to himself near the top of the 18-yard box. Martínez then eluded two Cincinnati defenders with a pair of deft touches – first a right-footed switch to his other foot, followed by an outside touch with the left before carving his shot inside the far-left post for a brace and a 2-0 victory.
The goal of the year was determined by fan votes on MLSsoccer.com and has been awarded since the league’s inaugural 1996 season.
All-time MLS Goal of the Year winners:
2019: Josef Martínez – Atlanta United | 9/18/19 vs. FC Cincinnati, 65th minute
2018: Zlatan Ibrahimović – LA Galaxy | 3/31/18 vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 77th minute
2017: Héctor Villalba – Atlanta United | 7/21/17 vs. Orlando City SC, 86th minute
2016: Shkëlzen Gashi – Colorado Rapids | 9/24/16 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 75th minute
2015: Krisztián Németh – Sporting Kansas City | 10/4/15 vs. Portland Timbers, 83rd minute
2014: Obafemi Martins – Seattle Sounders FC | 5/23/14 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8th minute
2013: Camilo Sanvezzo – Vancouver Whitecaps FC | 10/6/13 vs. Portland Timbers, 78th minute
2012: Patrick Ianni – Seattle Sounders FC | 6/20/12 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 15th minute
2011: Darlington Nagbe – Portland Timbers | 7/2/11 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 45th minute
2010: Marco Pappa – Chicago Fire | 4/10/10 vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 52nd minute
2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy | 8/8/09 vs. New England Revolution, 21st minute
2008: Will Johnson – Real Salt Lake | 10/18/08 vs. FC Dallas, 54th minute
2007: Cuauhtémoc Blanco – Chicago Fire | 8/18/07 vs. Real Salt Lake, 43rd minute
2006: Brian Ching – Houston Dynamo | 9/30/06 v D.C. United, 86th minute
2005: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes | 10/15/05 vs. LA Galaxy, 45th minute
2004: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes | 8/7/04 vs. D.C. United, 82nd minute
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire | 8/13/03 vs. Columbus Crew SC, 90th minute
2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy | 7/27/02 vs. Columbus Crew SC, 75th minute
2001: Clint Mathis – MetroStars | 4/28/01 vs. Dallas Burn, 60th minute
2000: Marcelo Balboa – Colorado Rapids | 4/22/00 vs. Columbus Crew SC, 55th minute
1999: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United | 5/22/99 vs. Miami Fusion, 90th minute
1998: Brian McBride – Columbus Crew | 7/9/98 vs. Chicago Fire, 68th minute
1997: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United | 8/27/97 vs. New England Revolution, 39th minute
1996: Eric Wynalda – San Jose Clash | 4/6/96 vs. D.C. United, 88th minute