Atlanta United suspend Josef Martinez for 'detrimental conduct'

Atlanta United suspended Josef Martinez for "conduct detrimental to the team" on Wednesday.

The Major League Soccer side announced the news in a statement that read: "Atlanta United announced today it has suspended Josef Martinez for one game for conduct detrimental to the team. Martinez will not participate in team activity this week and will not be available for selection on Saturday against Toronto FC. He's scheduled to re-join the team on Monday, Sept. 12."

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Martinez will miss Atlanta's MLS game against Toronto, the team directly above them in the Eastern Conference, on Saturday.

One source with knowledge of the situation confirmed a report from The Athletic that the suspension came after an altercation between Martinez and Atlanta manager Gonzalo Pineda that took place following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Portland. The confrontation came after Martinez flipped a catering table

But the source added that the suspension was the result of a series of events in which it was felt that Martinez had showed a "lack of respect" for coaches and teammates, and that the team had multiple conversations with the player about his his behavior.

Martinez has one year left on his contract plus an option year

Since joining Atlanta in 2017, Martinez has scored 97 goals in 130 appearances, and was named the league's MVP in 2018. But Martinez has been plagued by a series of knee injuries since tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2020 campaign. Earlier this season he underwent arthroscopic surgery on the same knee to clean out debris.

Atlanta are 11th in the Eastern Conference, having won eight of 29 games this season.