When Obafemi Martins arrived in Seattle back in March of last year, the move was greeted with much fanfare and anticipation. From that day until now, Martins has not disappointed and continues to be the backflipping goal machine that is adored by Sounders supporters everywhere.
To the delight of his droves of Rave Green-clad admirers, Martins recently agreed to renew his contract with the Sounders, a move that will keep him in the Emerald City for years to come.
“I’m glad I’m still going to be with the team for a long time, I’m happy,” said Martins of the contract extension. “I feel at home here, and I hope to continue doing well by helping the team.”
Martins, 30, who celebrated his birthday on Tuesday with the announcement of his contract extension, is looking forward to an extended stay in Seattle after bouncing around between five clubs over three years prior to joining Sounders FC.
“I enjoy playing with the team and love the fans as well,” Martins said. "I’m glad to still play here for years.”
The move also delighted Martins’ head coach Sigi Schmid, who has watched the Nigerian amass record-setting numbers for the club in 2014.
His 17 goals and 13 assist rank atop the Sounders single-season charts, with Martins eclipsing Eddie Johnson’s goal tally and tying Mauro Rosales number of helpers in a 34-game season.
“Oba has had a wonderful year for this year and we hope he has many more like it,” said Schmid after training on Tuesday. “He’s a guy we wanted to keep. Everyone can see the difference this year compared to last year with the fatigue that entered into him at the end of the season.
“I think it’s great that he’s going to be sticking around. He likes Seattle and hopefully him and Clint together can have a few more years of success for us."
When asked about the decision to re-sign Martins, club Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer wasn’t short of reasons why keeping the tireless forward around was the right thing to do.
“He scores a lot goals and creates a lot of assists for his teammates,” said Hanauer. “He’s very active, takes the attention of centerbacks, the pairing with Clint has been massive - probably the best in MLS. He helps us win games and championships. Not sure there is much more to it than that.”
After securing a new deal and helping Seattle to a pair of trophies already this season, the Volkswagen MLS MVP candidate’s focus is now squarely on getting Sounders FC to the MLS Cup Final…and he’s not alone.
“Right now, we’re ready for anything,” said Martins. “We are happy the playoffs are going to start soon. We are excited to start playing and are hoping for the best.”