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Player Profile #7: Obafemi Martins

There was actually a point in time when Obafemi Martins was the man with the highest transfer fee in MLS history. That point in time did not last long. It was also the point in time when Oba looked every bit like a game-changing player.

This is his O face. How much will we see in 2014?
This is his O face. How much will we see in 2014?
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Early in Obafemi Martins' Seattle Sounders FC tenure he made a couple things clear - he loved the opportunity to play here and he had little trouble adjusting to the style of league. Injury would slow down his season.

#7 Obafemi Martins
Nat'l Affil Nigeria Age 29
Years Pro 14 Years Sounder 1
Pos/Role Forward
MLS (+Playoff) Stats CCL/USOC Stats Reserve Stats
Apps 21 1 0
Starts 17 0 0
Mins 1507 11 0
G 8 0 0
A 4 0 0
PP/90 1.19 -- --
Advanced Stats
Off Pass % Net Shot Rate Net Duel Rate
Total 64% 0.59 -3.19
Team Rank 7th 5th 21st

#7 Obafemi Martins

Nigerian National Teamer. Levante. Birmingham City. Rubin Kazan. Wolfsburg. Newcastle. Inter. Reggiana. That's a strong list of teams in a 14 year career that started in Oba's mid-teens. His latest stop may not even be his last. His first seven matches saw four goals. In fact none of the matches with an Oba-goal or assist resulted in a Seattle loss. He was that Keane-like player that Roth wanted after the 2012 season, when he played. Four of the last five regular season games and eight of the final thirteen he was an unused player.

Offense: Oba's best soccer skill is simple. He's got a quick trigger on a powerful left foot. Also adept at using his head or right foot to strike the ball. Creates interesting angles off of tough passes. Natural scorer. Does not use dribbles to create space, instead capturing it after dropping the ball back and using speed to slip through lines. Excellent touch radius. Solid passer, but best on the end of linkages. Offenses just run better when he's on the pitch. A body you want in the area on dead balls, but not as the target. If rebounds are nearby his foot is one you want close.

Defense: Uses his speed well to harass opposing defensive lines. Not useful in set-piece defending except to start a breakaway.

Physique: Martins is an international talent that has "MLS skills." He is quick and fast with good endurance. Though short his frame is solid. Does not shy from contact, can even use it to establish space with the ball at his feet.

Best Case 2014: This could go two ways. With Sounders FC he could be a force with a full season of health and rest. There is no reason to think he would score less than 15 goals. Oba could also go to a league with more money available and do alright there.

I vote for option one, because I like this;


and this


and more so this


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