The Philadelphia Union is once again one win away from making it to MLS Cup! One player who has been vital over the last few seasons has been Jose “El Brujo” Martinez. El Brujo translates to the wizard, and he’s about as Philly a player as they come. His vital role of marking the opposition’s attacking midfielders makes his position and style of play a key to Philly’s success.
Jose Martinez and Union are one win away from MLS Cup
El Brujo does a lot for Philly. In their 4-1-2-1-2 formation, he’s tasked with covering for the center backs, tracking the opposite attacking midfielder, and providing defensive cover from sideline to sideline especially when the outside backs push forward. To cover this much ground, the number six needs to be fast, tenacious, fearless and calculated.
All of these can describe Martinez at times, though sometimes he’s not as calculated as many would want him to be. On an off night, El Brujo will fly into tackles without thought, or lose his mark; when that happens, the Union tends to be in trouble. However, that has not happened for a while, and his playoff performance was top-notch. Could this point to further Union success?
Tenacious play for good or bad
Martinez’s debut was back in 2020 at LAFC. It was the last match before the pandemic broke out and halted the season, and the legend of El Brujo was solidified then. He flew around the field and stopped LAFC attacks. At one point, he put his body on the line and got a cut on his lip that bled badly. He went off the pitch got it sealed up, and came back into the game.
He’s Philly tough and is tenacious for good or bad. This has been seen in every game he plays. Whether he plays well or poorly, he is tenacious. El Brujo could win Philly a match with his defensive work or could be a reason for a loss if he has an off night. That might have more to do with how the Union uses the number six position rather than his play, but nonetheless, El Brujo is ready to give it all!
Ready to give it all
The Union has taken on a Philly-vs-everyone mentality over the last few seasons. Their success while playing Moneyball lends to the underdog mentality this team has while being the second-best team in MLS. El Brujo is a big part of that. He understands that the city only cares about winning, and not how that winning comes about!
Jose “El Brujo” Martinez is ready to give it all on the pitch as are the rest of the players who wear the Union badge. He was one of the few starters who was able to play in the 2021 Eastern Conference Final against NYCFC. After falling just short on that day, with Covid-19 making the odds difficult to surpass, he now has a chance to help the 2022 Union make their first-ever MLS Cup!
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Mandatory Credit: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire