De Boer worries after Josef Martinez stretchered off for Atl Utd

Nicholas Mendola
NBC Sports

Josef Martinez saw the end of his remarkable 15-match MLS scoring streak on Sunday, and there’s a question of when he’ll be able to start a new one.

[ RECAP: Atl Utd 3-1 San Jose ]

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Martinez was stretchered off the field late in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat of San Jose, and the Venezuelan super scorer’s status is unknown.

Atlanta manager Frank De Boer said at one point that he’s “afraid it’s something serious” in a reply to Spanish-speaking media, but was non-committal about the injury other than to express confidence the Five Stripes could find a solution in his absence.

“We know Josef a little bit. He’s a tough guy. He will not suddenly step off the field. He will have something, that’s for sure. But we have to wait. It’s too early to predict. But I think it’s not a good sign that he goes off. We have to deal with it. Again, we have to wait.”

Martinez was injured in the 79th minute of his third-start in seven days, and he went the distance in the first two. That’s a lot of soccer for a workhorse striker.

He has 76 goals in 81 MLS matches, and has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Atlanta’s alternatives include using Hector Villalba up top or hoping for the best from center forwards Brandon Vazquez, the 20-year-old with two goals in nine MLS appearances this season, and Romario Williams, who’s only played more than 15 minutes once since July and has one goal on the season.

Cross your fingers, Five Stripes.

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