Josef Martinez suffered an ACL tear during Atlanta United's MLS season opener in Nashville on Feb. 29, 2020.
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Josef Martinez suffered an ACL tear during Atlanta United's MLS season opener in Nashville on Feb. 29, 2020.

Atlanta United will host its home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday night against Cincinnati F.C.

But as United lines up to face Cincinnati, the team will be without its star striker. 

Josef Martinez suffered a potentially season-ending injury in the MLS opener last weekend in Nashville, tearing his ACL in the second half of the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCm179Z4j8U&ab_channel=MajorLeagueSoccer

Martinez is the franchise scoring leader in Atlanta United history, racking up 77 goals in 84 appearances.

He took to Instagram this week to thank his fans and peers for giving him strength and encouragement during a difficult time.

 

 
 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Thank you to all who took time to send so many positive and encouraging messages, I read them all and they give me strength in this difficult period. Thanks to my teammates, players around the league, other teams and most of all the fans. See you soon Gracias a todos por los mensajes positivos y de apoyo en este momento difícil. Nos veamos pronto

A post shared by Josef Martinez (@josefmartinez17) on 

Mar 3, 2020 at 9:59am PST

Now,  Atlanta will look to several other of its key players to step up and fill the void left by Martinez's absence. 

Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez and Adam Jahn are all potential candidates to supplement the lost production of United's star striker. 

Atlanta will also be shorthanded when they face Mexico's Club America in the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament. 

The first leg of that two game series will take place on March 18. 

But first, Atlanta will soldier on without #7 Saturday night at Mercedes Benz Stadium against Cincinatti F.C. at 7 p.m.