26 games. That’s all it took for Josef Martinez to set the new MLS single-season scoring record. Not too bad for the 25-year-old forward from Venezuela. Its the final week in September and he sits at 30 goals, only 2 less than the Colorado Rapids as an entire organization. Martinez has lit-up Major League Soccer this year, with highlights like last week with a 95-min header to seal the win over San Jose. This guy gets it done, more so than MLS fans are used to watching. So when is he going to Europe?
I get it. Although not the route that my life has taken, I once harbored the dreams of most young kids in South America; to grow up and put on the colors of a historic club such as Real Madrid or Manchester United. I wanted the history, the fans, the culture, and most of all, the money. It is hard to build a case for American soccer given those things. However, Major League Soccer has one thing that Europe couldn’t offer Martinez; to become the hands-down, no questions asked, G.O.A.T. of a professional soccer league.
So why would Martinez care?
This is where a good sales pitch goes a long way. If he goes to Europe, he will get sat up on some bench in Spain and possibly forgotten. Josef is already 25, and in my opinion, would’ve already been in Europe if he were to become a break-out superstar being put on the cover of FIFA22. In America, he could be on the face of everything Major League Soccer touches. He would easily sell the most jerseys and attract the most fans. He would be the most recognizable and iconic face to hit the MLS in its history. Find me a club in Europe offering that.
He should do it for the beautiful game that we all love. The biggest issue that the MLS faces is quality of product. It’s a place where you either couldn’t make it to Europe, or you are too old for Europe. It is somewhere you can be a good player, but not a great player. That is why Martinez is in such a unique position. It isn’t often that an MLS player of his age and caliber is getting so much attention from Europe. All the more reason that we should convince him to stay. I say we because all of North American soccer should want this. If he comes to your town, that means more tickets sold, more concessions bought, and more repeat customers. All equaling more money for the club, the league, the players; which in-turn allows us to bring more quality talent into the league. It all trickles down the line.
Let the others become sheep, I want Josef Martinez to be the G.O.A.T.