The Seattle Sounders announced Thursday that Obafemi Martins has been officially transferred to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC. Martins, who said farewell to the Sounders faithful via Twitter one week ago, spent two seasons in Seattle, scoring 40 goals in 72 appearances.
Thanks to all who made these last three years an amazing experience. Seattle has a special place in my heart pic.twitter.com/qg3XxYRzbK— OBA MARTINS (@Obafemimartins) February 18, 2016
Per league and club policy, details of the transfer were not disclosed.
“We wish Oba good fortune in China. Ultimately this transaction gives us roster and salary cap flexibility heading into our 2016 MLS season, including the opening of a Designated Player position,” Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said Thursday. “We have a talented and capable group in our locker room, and we’re excited for the year ahead.”
Lagerwey said during the team's media day at CenturyLink Field on Monday that while he realizes the timing of the transfer poses some questions for the team, he's more than pleased with the quality that remains in the locker room as the 2016 season gets underway.
"To lose a player that's had an impact on your club the last few years a couple weeks before your season, that's not how you choose to do it," Lagerwey said last w. "But it is what it is. You gotta adjust. We have a lot of good players here."
Sounders captain Brad Evans echoed Lagerwey's sentiments, adding that he and his teammates were largely unfazed by the reports that emerged earlier this month indicating Martins was on the move.
"Everybody inside the locker room has been really happy, and we haven’t really spoken about Oba at all," Evans said on Monday. "If we thought there was something missing, there would be more chatter."
The Sounders head south for the second leg of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 2 (5 p.m. PT; FS2/SoundersFC.com, El Rey 1360AM) before returning to Seattle for the team's MLS regular season home opener against Sporting Kansas City on March 6 (4 p.m. PT; FS1/KIRO 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM).