While the arrivals Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba, and Giovani dos Santos stole this summer’s spotlight, Martinez quietly inked a Designated Player deal with RSL. But the forward’s resume, which includes a successful stint with Brazilian giant Corinthians, 58 appearances with Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors, and four caps with Argentina’s National Team—where he played alongside Lionel Messi in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying—stacks up with his fellow mid-summer signees.
In five appearances across all competitions with Real Salt Lake, the man nicknamed ‘El Burrito’ for his resemblance to former Albiceleste icon Ariel Ortega, has already turned in two goals, one assist, and six shots in 306 minutes. His blend of touch, pace, and creativity has injected new life into an RSL team that has struggled to generate offense at times this season. In last Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League match versus Santa Tecla, Martinez came on as a substitute in a 72nd minute and potted the game-winner just five minutes later. This week, he’ll look to stay hot as RSL visits the Colorado Rapids in a Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry match that has critical playoff implications (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1, FOX Deportes). With the Claret-and-Cobalt gunning for a league-best eighth consecutive playoff bid, El Burrito could be the key to keeping the active postseason streak alive.