Atlanta United will be without star striker Joseph Martinez when it hosts Toronto FC on Saturday.
Atlanta announced Wednesday that the 29-year-old Venezuelan, who leads the MLS club with eight goals this season, was suspended for one game “for conduct detrimental to the team.”
While the club did not elaborate on the misconduct, reports say he locked horns with coach Gonzalo Pineda after Martinez scored for Atalanta in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Portland. He was involved in an argument in the room.
Atlanta said Martinez will not participate in team practice this week and is scheduled to rejoin the team next Monday. The Venezuelan prodigy scored 97 goals and added 16 assists in 130 regular-season games for Atlanta. He is the franchise leader in goals scored in all competitions with 110.
In 2018, Martinez won the MLS MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Golden Boot, and MLS Cup Final MVP awards after a 31-goal season. He added 27 more goals in 2019 before injuring his knee one game into the 2020 season, missing the rest of the campaign.
Like Toronto, Atlanta is struggling to make the playoffs.
At 8-12-9, 11th-place Atlanta is one spot and one point behind Toronto (9-14-7) in the Eastern Conference with one game to play. Seventh-ranked New England (9-9-11) currently holds the last playoff spot in the East.
Martinez’s suspension is the latest bad news for Atalanta, who have won just two of their last 10 league matches (2-4-4).
Star defenseman Myles Robinson was arrested for robbery at a downtown bar on Saturday. The United States international has been out since rupturing his Achilles tendon in May.