TUKWILA, Wash. – In the midst of a stretch where they're playing their best soccer of the season, the Seattle Sounders are poised to add a key offensive cog.
Obafemi Martins, who has seen limited action thanks to injury since he signed in March, was a full participant in Wednesday’s training.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid declared Martins healthy, but was not quite ready to say the Nigerian international was fit.
“He still needs some time playing, getting used to our guys and just playing and training on a regular basis again,” Schmid told reporters. “In terms of his injury, he feels much, much better each day. So that’s a good thing.”
Martins was able to play 35 minutes in the Sounders’ thrashing of the San Jose Earthquakes this past Saturday, scoring a stoppage-time goal (above). It was just the second time he’d played since re-aggravating a knee injury on March 30.
"I feel a lot better now,” he told reporters after Saturday’s game. “I'm running now and keeping fit. I'm just ready to go."
Despite limited playing time, Martins has shown why the Sounders were so keen to lure him away from Spanish top-flight outfit Levante. The 12-year European club veteran has scored in each of his past two performances and is already tied for the team goal scoring lead despite logging just 171 minutes.
“He’s a player who can do wonderful things,” Schmid said. “The goal was a good example, not that it was brilliantly played. It’s just his reactions and his quickness. He was so quick after the ball bounced off the defender to get on it and he’s got the composure, like in Colorado, to put that ball away.
“He has the ability to do the spectacular, but more than anything he has the ability to finish around goal and he can be very cold blooded when he’s in those situations.”