Both Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer and Coach Sigi Schmid talked briefly about the potential Designated Player signing of former Levante player Obafemi Martins when practice at Starfire wrapped up today. While neither was willing to confirm the deal, their words make the deal seem quite close to being done. As always, it is not official until official, something that Sigi noted when asked about Martins.
"There's a lot of things that get tweeted in this world so you don't know for sure," Schmid said to the gathered media. "Once it's signed, sealed and delivered and I see a smiling face here I'll know for sure."
Clearly a reference to the story that developed while the team prepared for its Champions League match with UANL Tigres, Sigi reminded reporters that there are many stages of paperwork involved in a transfer like this -- P-1 visa, International Transfer Certificate, player registration with the League and CONCACAF, etc.
General Manager and minority owner Hanauer was calculated with his phrasing.
"There are a lot of reports coming out of Spain obviously. I would rather not comment on anything at this time. We have nothing official to announce. We'll obviously announce something if and when it comes to fruition," Hanauer cautioned. "But as I've said from the beginning, Oba is a player that we've been circling the wagons on and there seem to be a number of indicators that suggest he might be playing for Seattle at some point in the near future. I'm not going to deny that those indicators are out there and that it's possible that we may have a new forward coming into the team in the near future."
Schmid described Martins' style of play, "He's a player that's been able to score goals in some of the toughest leagues in the world. So now if he can bring that talent here--he's fast, he's left footed, he's got some explosion to him--I think the crowd will enjoy him."
There will be more steps to this process, more shots of espresso for the hype machine and a few steps from that third DP slot being filled.