Atlanta United signs Venezuela forward Josef Martinez as designated player

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The 23-year-old has signed on loan from Torino, joining Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba as designated players on Gerardo Martino's roster.

Atlanta United has found its third designated player.

The MLS expansion side Thursday announced the signing of Venezuela international Josef Martinez on loan from Torino, with an option to buy.

The 23-year-old forward joins Argentine winger Hector Villalba and Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron in Atlanta, giving Gerardo Martino's club a full complement of DP signings.

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"We're excited to have acquired another player who's entering the prime of his career and who has already experienced top competition in Europe and South America," United president Darren Eales said in a news release. "Between Serie A, Europa League and various international competitions with the Venezuelan national team, Josef has already proven himself on some of the biggest stages in our sport and we’re confident in his ability to make a difference in MLS."

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Martinez has recorded 13 goals and six assists over 76 appearances in all competitions since joining Torino in 2014, with one goal in 11 Serie A matches this season. He previously has played for Venezuelan side Caracas and Swiss club BSC Young Boys.

The 5-foot-7 attacker has scored nine goals in 37 caps for Venezeula, with five of those strikes coming during 2018 World Cup qualifying. He appeared in all four matches during Venezuela's run to the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals this past summer.

"I'm very happy to be here, this is a great project," Martinez said. "I was able to see the training ground and the stadium that the club is building, and I knew that coming to Atlanta was the best decision. Also, there is a great coaching staff and remarkable young players. I can't wait to start to work with my new teammates."

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