Bocanegra: Martinez maintains focus on team, not goal record

"It's a little like the no-hitter in baseball: everybody knows it's there."

Wendy Adams
August 24, 2018 - 12:26 pm

© Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports


Atlanta United will look to keep their foot on the gas tonight in a conference road match against rival Orlando City SC (8 p.m. kickoff). Team Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra joined John and Hugh to preview the game.

The last time the two clubs met down in Orlando was on May 13th; a match that ended with this notice to United supporters:

When asked if the team was comfortable that Orlando City SC has taken procautions to keep both the players and fans safe, Bocanegra isn't worried that the same thing will happen:

"Silly things happen sometimes but both [clubs> take a step back and think 'alright, it's just a game here; we're having fun. It's competitive but it's all about what happens on the field.' No one is going to be too worried about that."

Not only is this match important to maintain it's lead atop the Supporters' Shield, Atlanta is three points ahead of NY Red Bulls and four ahead of NYCFC in the Eastern Conference, it'll also be the first opporunity for Josef Martinez to break the MLS single-season goal record. Martinez tied the record against Columbus Crew last week, making it No. 27 on the season:

"It's a little like the no-hitter in baseball: are we talkng about it, are we not talking about it. Everybody knows it's there. Josef's done a great job of dealing with the pressure, and continues to score."

Bocanegra said a clear example of just how unselfish of a player and concerned with the team Martinez is, was this moment; an assist to Miguel Almiron who would go on to score against Columbus Crew:

"He's really become a top player in the league; somebody that people are always watching. But he always brings his teammates into the game as well. So [the goal record> doesn't look like it's affecting him too much."