Mario Martinez has officially been named to Honduras' roster for their upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifier against the United States on Feb. 6. This is not a shocker, as Martinez has increasingly been a big part of Los Catrachos for at least a year, but it does serve as a reminder of the give-and-take involved with him.
As we learned last year, Martinez is going to miss some time. It might even be a lot of time. He'll probably join the Seattle Sounders shortly after the qualifier, but he'll be leaving again soon enough. Honduras plays two more qualifiers on March 22 (vs. Mexico) and 26 (at Panama) and Martinez will surely be called into those as well. Best-case scenario, he'll only miss the Sounders' game on March 23, but it's possible that he might not be ready in time for their march on March 30, either.
There should be little doubt about Martinez's ability to perform in the right circumstances. But he's going to be called away at least two or three more times this year and will likely miss at least two more games. All of this is going to interfere with his ability to mix with the team and makes it harder for the Sounders to rely upon him.
Obviously, that's a risk when signing players who are active on their international teams. I'd say it's a price worth paying, but it is a price. Hopefully, Martinez proves he's worth it quickly. Otherwise, the Sounders will have quite the tough choice when they must decide if they want to make the transfer permanent in June.
Full Honduras roster
GOALKEEPERS: Donis Escober (CD Olimpia), Kevin Hernandez (Real Espana), Jose Mendoza (CD Marathon)
DEFENDERS: Brayan Beckeles (CD Olimpia), Wilmer Crisanto (CD Victoria), Juan Carlos Garcia (CD Olimpia), Arnold Peralta (CDS Vida), Jose David Velasquez (CD Victoria), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Juan Pablo Montes (CD Necaxa)
MIDFIELDERS: Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Mario Martinez (Seattle Sounders FC), Marvin Chavez (San Jose Earthquake), Luis Garrido (CD Olimpia), Miguel Castillo (CD Victoria)
FORWARDS: Jerry Bengston (New England Revolution), Georgie Welcome (CD Motagua), Mitchel Brown (CD Marathon), Junior Lacayo (CD Victoria), Luis Lobo (Real Espana)