Obafemi Martins practices with team for first time, should play against Salt Lake

Jane G Photography

After Thursday's practice session media talked to Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson and Sigi Schmid in group sessions. Indications are that the two forwards should be able to see significant time in both upcoming games.

Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson logged significant travel miles over the past week in order to help club and country. After today's practice session it seems likely that both will be able to feature in the two matches that are causing Sigi Schmid to juggle lineups. Mario Martinez is unlikely to start on Saturday.

"Obviously Mario played both games pretty much in their entirety only short like seven minutes. Eddie had less minutes so I think Eddie's availability is good for both games Saturday and Tuesday," Schmid told the gathered media on Thursday. "For Mario it might be a situation that it's better to wait until Tuesday for him. We're obviously a lot closer to a first squad right now."

He was much less concerned about Martins' time with Nigeria.

"He got here on Tuesday and was able to do a little bit of stuff Tuesday, a little bit Wednesday, so I think by Saturday he should be fine," Sigi said. "He's come off playing at Levante where they were playing on the weekend and then playing a Europa Cup on the midweek so he's used to that rhythm as well."

Getting the two speedy forwards up top and playing together will be a huge asset for a club that is struggling to score at this point. First though they just need to learn to play together.

"I thought we moved off each other really well. I thought we combined with each other really well. I'm excited," Eddie Johnson told most of the media while Sounder at Heart and a few others talked to Steve Zakuani. "I know the team, the organization and the fans are excited that he's here. I think he was a great addition to the team. I'm looking forward to playing with him, and I'm pretty sure David Estrada and Sammy Ochoa would say the same."

Zakuani also spoke about getting to know Obafemi's style of game, "We know of his quality over the years, but it takes time when you come in and play with new players, meet them, find out how they play and their tendencies and stuff. We have to learn him, he has to learn us. I've always said that good players can figure out a way to play together - always. You just know the right movements, the right runs and then it is about execution. I'm very excited for him to be here. He'll help us down the road with the scoring problem and we'll be good."

Martins is ready to play and doesn't feel he needs any rest.

"I'm a soccer player. It's not mine to say if I'll go and play. I have no choice," indicating that it is up to the coach, not himself. "I'm ready to go."

He is also focusing on Seattle while with the Sounders, not Nigeria's packed summer with World Cup Qualifying and the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

"I don't want to talk about that now. I have to focus on Sounders FC first. They are my team and I look towards that."

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