“Who’s that man who scores in green?”
The question booming in song from the Emerald City Supporters has been answered the same way for the past two seasons. On Sunday in Portland he rewarded the ECS faithful with two goals bookending a 4-2 win for Sounders FC over the rival Timbers. The answer, always sung in response, is “Obafemi Martins” and on Monday he was named MLS Player of the Week for his exploits against the Timbers.
“The fans have been great and supportive even when we’re not doing well. We have to make them proud and we did that today,” Martins smiled after the match. “I hope they’re happy now and we’ll continue to do our best.”
His two goals on Sunday both exemplified the diversity in Seattle’s attack and he added an assist as well in another thorough performance against the Timbers.
On the first goal, Brad Evans blazed past Portland defender Liam Ridgewell to send a cross to Martins racing down the middle of the box, crashing it into the net for an early lead.
The second came late in the match after Portland had pulled a goal back to narrow the Seattle lead to 3-1 and was shear individual effort. He danced in and out of the Timbers defense, splitting double- and triple-teams with the ball stuck to his feet as if with Velcro before lifting a shot past Donovan Ricketts.
“I brought everything to the game and I think we deserved it,” Martins said. “We played very well today and scored great goals.”
Martins added another assist in a mid-week draw with the San Jose Earthquakes to help solidify his claim on Player of the Week honors.
Now with 10 goals in the 2014 season and still with 10 matches left in the regular season, Martins has already surpassed his total in 2013. When he’s not putting the ball into the back of the net and doing his signature backflip celebration, he is also setting up his teammates for scoring chances of their own.
“Not only does he score goals, but he creates opportunities for others,” said Clint Dempsey, who was the recipient of Martins’ assist on Sunday. “I thought he played really well today.”
This season, Martins has eight assists to lead the Sounders. He is one of two players in MLS to rank in the top eight in goals and top five in assists, joined only by the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane.
Martins in just the fifth Sounders player to reach double-digit goals in a season, joining Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani, Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey, who reached 10 goals earlier in the match against Portland.
Martins becomes the second different Sounders FC player to win Goal of the Week and the first since Dempsey won it on consecutive weeks in April.
It’s no wonder the Seattle fans are singing, “He’s not a man, he’s a goal machine … Obafemi Martins.”