BY DAN KARELL
Don’t look now, but Seattle could make a real run for MLS glory this season.
The Sounders announced in a press conference on Friday the signing of Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, becoming the team’s third Designated Player on their roster. He joins midfielders Mauro Rosales and Shalrie Joseph as the team’s DP’s, and bolsters an already strong Seattle attack.
Martins, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, has been the subject of intense international media speculation about his potential move to MLS. As revealed on Monday, Martins was able to pay his buyout clause from Levante in Spain’s La Liga, enabling the Sounders to pick up the striker on a free transfer.
After moving to Italy as a teenager, the 29-year-old played over 100 matches for both Inter Milan and Newcastle United between 2001 and 2009. Since then, he’s enjoyed short spells at Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League, Birmingham City in the Championship, and most recently, Levante.
Now with Seattle, Martins will wear the #9 shirt, and according to coach Sigi Schmid, he could be available to play his first match on Saturday, against rivals Portland.
What do you think of the news? Do you see Martins starting this weekend?