TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders will be a little less short-handed than they thought they were going to be on Saturday.
Sounders Designiated Player Obafemi Martins had his red card rescinded on Wednesday and will be eligible to play against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network/LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com) after the Sounders won their appeal to the independent review board.
“Getting Oba back is a big plus for us,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Oba and Lamar [Neagle] have played together fairly well and to be able to come back with those two is a huge plus and helps us in terms of making our lineup decisions this week.”
Before being ejected in last Saturday’s match against Chivas USA, Martins scored his fourth goal of the season. He’s accomplished that in just 366 minutes, giving him a league-leading .98 goals per 90 minutes.
Even with Martins back, the Sounders will be missing six other potential starters. Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans and Mario Martinez are with their respective national teams, Osvaldo Alonso (quad) and Steve Zakuani (sports hernia) are out with injuries and Shalrie Joseph is serving the second game of his own two-game suspension.
WATCH: Martins sees red against Chivas USA
Perhaps due to their roster situation, the Sounders made a point of at least attempting to get Martins’ suspension overturned. The forward was shown a red card in the 71st minute of Seattle's 2-0 win over Chivas USA on Saturday evening after he got tangled up with Gabriel Farfan.
Although he bit his tongue when asked about the card after the game, Schmid could be heard on the broadcast loudly protesting the decision.
After being fined for past public criticisms of referees, Schmid continued to be mostly diplomatic, both following the game and when the result of the appeal came down.
“Nobody cared about my opinion the last time, I doubt they care now,” he said. “We’re happy that the process works.”