Obafemi Martins with Levante
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Seattle Sounders finally make it official: Obafemi Martins is their new Designated Player

The Seattle Sounders have, at last, landed their man.

The club announced Friday during a press conference that they have officially signed forward Obafemi Martins. The 28-year-old Nigerian international comes to the Sounders from Levante in La Liga after a protracted series of negotiations that saw Martins' contract bought out earlier this month, leaving him free to sign outside the European transfer window..

For Seattle's part, the announcement ends speculation of when and whether Martins would be joining the club, which had been rampant for weeks. It also gives the Sounders a third Designated Player, replacing departed midfielder Christian Tiffert.

Martins will be expected to lead the line for the Sounders along with US national team striker Eddie Johnson. He will also be expected to replace on-loan striker Fredy Montero not only in scoring but also as a point man in the team's attack.


Martins has vast experience on the club front in Europe prior to joining MLS. In addition to Levante, which he still leads in scoring this season with nine goals in 24 games across all competitions, he has played in Italy (Reggina, Inter Milan), England (Newcastle United, Birmingham City), Germany (Wolfsburg), and Russia (Rubin Kazan), tallying over 100 first team goals. A member of Nigeria's national team since 2004, Martins has scored 18 goals in 38 appearances and made two appearances at the 2010 World Cup.

According to Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid, Martins will be available for Saturday's Cascadia Cup showdown with Portland (8 pm ET; NBCSN, LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com).

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