Report: Josue Martinez Will Join The Union After Playing His Last Game With Saprissa

Deportivo Saprissa is set to allow Josue Martinez to move to the Philadelphia Union, according to La Republica.

A throwaway line in the website's game recap of Saprissa's 2-2 draw with Alajuelense included a comment about Martinez's future with Saprissa, saying that the 21-year-old had played his last game with the Costa Rican power. The 21-year-old striker missed two opportunities in the first half, but scored in the 50th minute of the game to give Saprissa hope. Saprissa could not find the extra goal necessary to win the game, however.

The Brotherly Game speculated, after talking to knowledgeable sources on Central American soccer, that Martinez would most likely stay with Saprissa if the team progressed onward in Costa Rica's playoffs. However, the 2-2 draw with Alajuelense eliminated Saprissa from the competition, leaving them with the option of offloading their young talent to foreign sides. Martinez is one of the team's three young strikers that are linked to either MLS or Europe, despite Joel Campbell's sale to Arsenal last year, showing Saprissa's ability to foster talent at forward positions.

Martinez has been linked to the Union multiple times in the past week, with Sunday being a possible time for his sale to Philadelphia. The Union reportedly offered $1 million for the player in July, but had their offer rejected, with the price supposedly at $2 million for Martinez at the time. Now the forward's price has fallen to around $500,000, making him a perfect candidate to become the Union's first ever Young Designated player signing.

"There would be no restriction on him (Joshua) or anyone else who has a chance, for us the priority is to retain the best talent and build equipment, but we can not deny life-changing opportunities to boys who are with us," said Saprissa President Juan Carlos Rojas.

Prior to Sunday's draw, Rojas had tried to fight off rumors of Martinez's departure, but admitted that an MLS team had plenty of interest in the young striker.

"The interest exists and we can not deny that there have been talks, but hey, now we are focused on Sunday's game. On this issue the truth is that at this moment we can not confirm anything, when one is speaking with teams, whether to communicate something is done in a coordinated way and now there is nothing to announce, "said Rojas.

The Union have been looking for new talent up front, according to reports from across the globe, due to the team's inability to consistently find goals. Last season, the Union scored 44 goals, leaving them tied for 7th in MLS, but six of those goals came in a 6-2 win against Toronto FC, and four came in a 4-4 draw against the New England Revolution.

The Costa Rican forward has represented Saprissa 65 times during his short first team career with the club, scoring 18 times. He has also played for Costa Rica's national team on numerous levels of competition, scoring seven times overall between the country's youth and senior squads.

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