MLS Cup 2018: Atlanta United's Josef Martinez says he has no desire to transfer to Europe

ATLANTA -- It's been a wild two years for Atlanta United star Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan striker has scored 54 goals in 60 games, picked up MLS MVP honors this season and is now just one win away from winning the most prized trophy in the league. The 2018 MLS Cup final is set for Saturday night between Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers -- which you can stream on  fuboTV (Try for free) -- and all eyes will be on the striker to deliver the goals needed to take home the trophy at Mercedes-Benz stadium. The club is just 90 minutes away from reaching the summit of the league, but it is also 90 minutes away from some big changes. 

Gone will be coach Gerardo Martino, who announced his departure earlier in the season is rumored to be taking the Mexican national team job. There's also a chance Europe will come calling for star midfielder Miguel Almiron, who has proven to have more than enough quality to play in the top leagues in Europe. There's no guarantee Almiron will go or stay, but fans of the club should feel really good about their future with Martinez. 

Martinez joined MLS two seasons ago from Europe after a disappointing stint with Italian club Torino, scoring 13 times in 75 games. Sources close to the player told CBS Sports this week that Martinez isn't tempted by a move to return to Europe. One source said, "I don't anticipate him going anywhere."

Martinez echoed the words to the media leading up to Saturday's match against the Timbers. 

"I've said it before that I am going to be here as long as they want me," Martinez told reporters. "I am happy here, I feel like I'm at home."

There will certainly be no shortage of offers for Martinez because of his prolific scoring, especially after smashing the league's single-season scoring mark this season, but he's found a spot in MLS that he adores. He likes life in the U.S. -- he says its been good to him -- and he's repaid that by showing what he can do on the pitch. 

And if he continues to stay in Atlanta, at a club that has shown a commitment to bringing big names as coaches and players, there's no reason why he can't keep it up and lead Atlanta to glory.

He's got his chance on Saturday. And by the looks of it, he'll have plenty more chances in his new home.

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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