Martinez signs new five-year deal with Atlanta

first_imgAtlanta United has signed forward Josef Martinez to a five-year contract extension that will last through the 2023 season.Martinez is coming off a banner 2018 season that saw him set the all-time single-season MLS scoring record with 31 goals, and then lead Atlanta to an MLS Cup championship. The Venezuela international won the league’s regular season MVP award for his record-breaking campaign.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The 25-year-old was then named MLS Cup MVP after notching a goal and an assist in his side’s 2-0 win over Portland in the league’s title game last month. “Josef is an exciting, dynamic player and has proven himself to be one of the best in MLS over the past two seasons,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said in a club release.“In addition to breaking the league’s scoring record, his work ethic and determination were rewarded by being named league MVP, and most importantly, MLS Cup champion with his teammates.”We’re excited to secure Josef’s long-term future in Atlanta and we look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments together.” In two MLS seasons since joining Atlanta from Serie A side Torino, Martinez has scored 50 goals in 54 games played, and has already set the league record for most career hat-tricks with six. “This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said.“They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had.”I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”last_img read more

RIM could face shareholder backlash over dismal year at annual meeting

TORONTO — Shareholders of Research In Motion, perhaps some of the most staunch supporters of the BlackBerry smartphone, are expected to take a far more critical view of the embattled company at its annual meeting on Tuesday.The meeting in RIM’s hometown of Waterloo, Ont., will be the first time many of them will meet new chief executive Thorsten Heins and the numerous other executives who have come aboard in recent months.It will also be a prime chance for them to grill Heins about the state of the company awash in technical delays, financial underperformance and an eroding stock price.“This is the one time when shareholders can actually get their voice heard,” said Sameet Kanade, a technology analyst at Northern Securities.“I’d be surprised if there weren’t any backlash.”Much has changed since former co-CEO Jim Balsillie stood before RIM’s stakeholders last July and assured them that RIM’s deteriorating stock price — which had just fallen below $30 a share — was merely in a temporary dip. It has since fallen to well below $10 per share.Last year, Balsillie offered up a series of assurances and timelines that have fallen by the wayside. He told the audience that RIM’s foundation was strong and it was on the verge of its biggest product launch in the company’s history — one that would help it meet its financial guidance for the year.As history has it, RIM didn’t launch those products, and still hasn’t. The BlackBerry 10 operating system and its new line of smartphones have proven to be the biggest hurdle the company has ever faced, with delays pushing the release date until early next year.[np-related]The company’s share of the U.S. smartphone market has also eroded to around 10%.Earlier this year, Balsillie left the company, while co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has also stepped aside and taken a lesser position on the company’s board.RIM’s new leadership has been hurriedly trying to rescue the company’s reputation in hopes that consumers will consider buying another BlackBerry instead of the array of alternatives on the market, such as Apple’s iPhone and a flurry of devices operating on the Android system.The company is also in the midst of an international tour intended to convince application developers to make their software available on the new BB10 system, while CEO Heins has made a few media appearances to answer questions from customers.The annual meeting will be a rare opportunity to connect directly with investors, said Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst based in London, Ont.“From that perspective it is an important event, especially given the turmoil that the company has incurred over the past year,” he said.However, the meeting is unlikely to result in major changes for RIM, especially since any efforts from shareholders to push for a takeover or other significant changes must be submitted ahead of time.What shareholders should expect, however, is some sort of road map for the next six to eight months as RIM tries to survive through the key smartphone selling period that runs from back-to-school season to the start of holiday shopping.“What people are going to be looking for, at least from the investors, is a short-term and a long-term strategic plan that is credible and that they can achieve,” said Zeus Kerravala, a telecom equipment analyst at ZK Research in Boston.“What I’d be asking for is, give me some indicators to look for in the next few quarters that they’re moving in the right direction.” read more