RENTON, WASH. – Honduran midfielder Mario Martinez has joined Seattle Sounders FC on loan from Real España, the club announced today. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed. Martinez will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa.
Real Salt Lake traded the no. 1 discovery priority on Mario Martinez to Seattle in exchange for a conditional draft choice.
“He’s a young player who we’ve been tracking for a while now,” said Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He has a very good left foot and a good shot from distance. Martinez can play wide and can also play underneath the front runners. He is pretty technical and a player who we think has a big upside.”
Martinez, 23, is currently playing for Honduras in the 2012 London Olympics, marking his second Olympics after participating in the 2008 Beijing games as a 19-year-old. Honduras has qualified for the quarterfinals after drawing with Morocco and Japan and beating Spain.
"I would like to thank our head scout, Kurt Schmid, and Mario's agent, Horatio Patanian, who worked very hard to get this deal over the finish line,” said Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer. “We are very excited to have Mario join our team, following the Olympics."
The left-footed midfielder has played for Real España of Honduras since 2006, making more than 50 appearances for the Liga Nacional team based in his hometown of San Pedro Sula. Martinez spent the 2009-10 seasons playing on loan for Norwegian side Valerenga and Anderlecht of Belgium.
Martinez has 29 appearances for Honduras on the international level. He was a member of the U23 team that participated in the 2008 Olympics after winning the CONCACAF Men’s Pre-Olympic Tournament, and he has 17 appearances for the senior national team. Martinez began his youth career with Real España.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Signed MID Mario Martinez
Place of Birth: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Hometown (Citizenship): San Pedro Sula (Honduras)
Last Club: Real España (Honduras, 2006-12)
Previous Clubs: Valerenga (Norway, 2009-10; on loan from Real España), RSC Anderlecht (Belgium, 2010; on loan from Real España)