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Saturday August 8th, 2020 5:07AM

United's Josef Martinez placed on season-ending IL; Five Stripes sign Torres

By AccessWDUN Staff

ATLANTA — Atlanta United announced Friday that forward Josef Martinez has been placed on the season-ending injury list.

Martinez underwent successful surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee on March 18 after suffering the injury during Atlanta’s season-opening win against Nashville SC on Feb. 29.

“Josef’s rehab is progressing well and is going to plan; however, it was important for us to make this move as it gives us roster relief and flexibility for the rest of the 2020 season,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We will miss his ability and leadership on the field this season, but we look forward to having him back at the start of preseason next year.”

Per MLS rules, clubs receive roster relief for placing a player on the season-ending injury list. Once placed on the season-ending injury list, the injured player will not be eligible to play for the club in any remaining competition during that MLS season (including any exhibition games or tournaments, CONCACAF Champions League, Canadian Championship and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games).

With that, United also announced Friday a replacement for Martinez on the roster. United signed forward Erick “Cubo” Torres as a season-ending injury replacement player. Torres, who has a permanent resident card and will be registered as a domestic player, was out of contract after spending the last two seasons in Liga MX. He will be added to the roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

“Cubo is a natural goalscoring forward who will bolster our frontline and we’re pleased to add a player of his quality to the team,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He has consistently shown his finishing abilities in MLS, Liga MX and on the international stage, and we expect him to immediately contribute to the second half of our season.”

Torres, 27, joins Atlanta United with more than 230 professional appearances and 65 goals scored at the club level while also featuring for the Mexican National Team. He spent the last two years playing in Liga MX, most recently with Club Tijuana where he scored seven goals in 37 appearances across all competitions. Prior to Tijuana, Torres spent the 2018 season with UNAM Pumas where he scored two goals in eight appearances.

The striker played parts of five seasons in MLS from 2013-2017 where he amassed 36 goals in 93 MLS regular season matches. He was loaned to Chivas USA from its then-sister club Chivas Guadalajara midway through the 2013 MLS season and was signed as a Designated Player. Torres went on to score seven goals in 15 appearances and returned for the 2014 campaign. That year he scored 15 goals in 29 regular season matches, was named to the 2014 MLS All-Star Team and became the league’s all-time leading Mexican goal-scorer.

Torres was signed by Houston Dynamo prior to the 2015 season as a Designated Player but was loaned to Guadalajara for six months where he scored two goals in five appearances. He was again loaned during the 2016 season to Cruz Azul where he made three appearances. In his first full season with the Dynamo, Torres had a break-out 2017 campaign when he netted 14 goals, Houston’s single-season record. He also became the second-ever Mexican to score a hat trick in MLS in a 4-1 win against New York Red Bulls on April 1, 2017.

Torres began his professional career with Chivas Guadalajara in 2010 after rising through its academy where he was a member since 2001. He made his professional debut in November 2010 as a 17-year-old and proceeded to score six goals while adding five assists in 15 appearances in the Liga MX Clausura, finishing second on the team in scoring behind Marco Fabián. He followed his debut season with five goals in 10 appearances in the 2011 Liga MX Apertura season. Torres has featured in 84 matches for Chivas across all competitions and scored 20 goals with 14 assists.

Torres received his first call up to the Mexican National Team in August of 2014 under coach Miguel Herrera and made his senior team debut Sept. 9, 2014 in a friendly against Bolivia when he started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 win. Torres scored his first goal for Mexico Oct. 12, 2014 during a friendly against Panama, which proved to be the game-winner in a 1-0 result. He was called up during the 2017 Gold Cup and made three appearances in Mexico’s run to the semi-finals.

  • Associated Categories: Sports
  • Associated Tags: Atlanta United
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