An experienced fullback, Luís Martins arrived in Vancouver in May 2022 via free agency, agreeing to a contract through 2022, with club options for 2023 and 2024.
The Lamego, Portugal native was then signed to a new contract through 2024, with a club option for 2025, on October 18, 2022.
'23: In his second season as a member of the ‘Caps, Martins was primarily deployed as a left-sided centre back in a back three, while also seeing minutes as a left back. The Portuguese defender started 19 of his 25 appearances across all competitions and recorded two assists in 2023.
'22: After spending three seasons with fellow Western Conference side Sporting Kansas City, Martins joined the ‘Caps in May as a free agent and went on to start five of his 13 appearances across all competitions. Martins also recorded three assists in three consecutive matches during the Blue and White’s homestand in the fall.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
'21: MLS regular season: Appeared in all 34 regular season matches, starting all but one. Recorded one goal and four assists. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started both of his appearances in the post-season.
'20: MLS regular season: Started nine of 11 appearances, contributed to four clean sheets and recorded two assists (773 minutes played). Recorded the game-winning assist on Gadi Kinda's brilliant goal in a 3-1 victory at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Feb. 29. Assisted Khiry Shelton's goal in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids on July 17. MLS is Back Tournament: Started five matches, contributed to two clean sheets and recorded one assist (381 minutes played). Assisted Khiry Shelton's goal in a 3-2 group stage win over the Colorado Rapids on July 17. MLS Cup Playoffs: Made one substitute appearance (34 minutes played). Played 34 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota United FC in the Western Conference Semifinals on Dec. 3.
'19: MLS regular season: Started nine of 10 appearances and contributed to two shutouts (829 minutes played). Earned his Sporting and MLS debut as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 loss at Orlando City SC on Aug. 14. Made his first MLS start in a 2-1 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 17. Started in consecutive 1-0 wins over Minnesota United FC and the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 22 and 31.
Born and raised in Lamego, Portugal, Martins developed as a youth player in the S.L. Benfica Academy and began his professional career with European giants S.L. Benfica in 2011. He earned his first-team debut with a start in the UEFA Champions League group stage, helping the side to a 1-1 draw against FC Basel on Nov. 2, 2011, before spending most of 2012 with Benfica B in the Portuguese second division.
Martins transferred to first-division club Gil Vicente in 2013 and amassed 40 Primeira Liga appearances over the next two years, spearheading the club’s improved defensive record from 54 goals allowed in 2012-13 to 37 the following season.
In September 2014, Martins swapped Portugal for Spain and signed with Granada CF in La Liga. His debut for the club came later that month when he featured against eventual UEFA Champions League winners FC Barcelona in the renowned Camp Nou. While with Granada, Martins was loaned to fellow Spanish side Osasuna in 2015-16 and to Portuguese outfit C.S. Maritimo from 2016-2018. His latter stay with Maritimo was highlighted by consecutive top-seven finishes in the Primeira Liga and four appearances in UEFA Europa League qualifying.
Martins spent the 2018-19 campaign with G.D. Chaves in the Portuguese top flight, where he played 20 matches in all competitions and scored one goal.
As a youth, Martins competed for the Portugal U-16s, U-17s and U-18s from 2008-2009. He then featured at the 2010 UEFA Under-19 Championship before helping Portugal to a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, starting three of four tournament appearances. He also started four qualifying matches for the 2015 UEFA Under-21 Championship, which ultimately saw Portugal fall to Sweden on penalty kicks in the final.