MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) Josef Martinez knew he was receiving one of Major League Soccer’s top awards.
The Atlanta United star was caught off guard by the presenter.
After the greatest goal-scoring season in MLS history, the Venezuelan striker got a surprise when countryman and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte showed up Thursday at United’s training facility to hand out the Golden Boot.
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Inciarte said Martinez’s 31-goal season , which shattered the league’s previous scoring record, provided a much-needed bit of good news to their troubled homeland.
“I love the things he’s been able to accomplish not only for Atlanta, but also for Venezuela,” said Inciarte, who donned United’s red-and-black, five-striped jersey for the ceremony and also got a tour of the team’s training facility. “A lot of people in Venezuela are going through a lot. Having somebody doing great things, the way he’s been doing, it’s a sign of hope for them.”