What a great time to be an Atlanta United fan!
The 25 greatest MLS players list created by AT&T, features two of Atlanta United stars, Josef Martinez and Carlos Bocanegra, leaving fans with something to be proud of. Recent years have been difficult and the club hasn’t been able to replicate the success it had in 2018. It has been hard to support the team, especially last season, but moments like this make us remember why we love the Five Stripes.
When you look at Bocanegra’s career, it becomes evident why he is on the list. Bocanegra is regarded as one of the best pure defenders not just in the MLS but also in United States soccer. Although he did not spend any of his playing days with the Five Stripes, he is very involved with the club. His success is celebrated amongst the Five Stripes faithful and everyone involved with the club.
Bocanegra was named MLS Best Defender of the Year twice and he was also a part of the MLS Best XI twice in his career. He won two U.S. Open Cups with the Chicago Fire, playing a crucial role in that team’s success. We could list his accolades for the U.S team, but this is an MLS exclusive list. Bocanegra is a homegrown talent and a role model for other players.
Josef Martinez’s inclusion might be a shocker to some because he has only played for a total of three seasons. In the seasons he has played, he was included in the best 11 in all seasons (x3). He won the MLS MVP, Golden Boot winner, and MLS Cup winner all in 2018! He has scored an outrageous number of goals (77) in three seasons and set a then-record for the most goals in a season (31 goals).
It’s hard to say yet if Martinez is the best striker in the MLS because of the short time he has played, but he has achieved a lot in just 3 seasons. The recognition he has received so far may only be the beginning of an illustrious career because we sometimes forget that Martinez is only 27 years old. Although he suffered a major injury last season, there is no doubt that once he is back on the field, he will dominate the league once more.