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Obafemi Martins confirms Sounders exit

Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports
Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports

Three years was probably longer than most would have expected Obafemi Martins would last as a Seattle Sounder.

There will not be a fourth year.

Martins confirmed his departure to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on Monday night, posting a farewell via his Twitter account:

Martins’ departure leaves the Sounders with a vacant Designated Player spot the club is expected to fill. Seattle will miss Martins, but does have solid forward options in Clint Dempsey, Nelson Haedo Valdez and Jordan Morris.

What do you think of this development? Sad to see Martins go? Think it might be a blessing in disguise? How many goals do you see Morris scoring?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Do I understand correctly they MLS could have kept a player like Martins, if they had been willing to pay him Altidore’s wages?

    Someone in Toronto has got to appreciate that one.

    • I don’t know Altidore’s wages, but if he is in the $6-7.5 million range then yes that is what MLS woudl have had to pay to match. It also depends on the length of contract. However, keep in mind that Oba is 31 and Jozy is 26. Theoretically, Jozy has nt hit his peak yet, while Oba is past his peak. Also keep in mind that MLS (like other leagues – Serie A, La Liga, BPL etc.) tends to pay premium for their own national team players.

    • Martins’ salary the issue, but Martins’ transfer being such ultra low pathetic transfer for $2million, the $2million makes MLS look like such weaker league, and make look Sounders smaller than Aguila from San Miquel.

      • The salary IS the issue. One of my friends is Nigerian and he sent me an article from Nigeria that states that Oba’s salary at Shanghai will be about $4 million/yr TAX FREE. He would have to make between $6-7.5 million in the US to make the same post tax income. There are only 5 teams in MLS (4 outside Seattle) that have anyone close to that on their books, and they are DP maxed out.

        This strikes me more like Oba telling them…”hey,, I’m leaving unless you come close to matching. Get a little something now or nothing in a year when I leave. BTW, I’ve been good to you be good to me and capitalize on the new American kid you have”

  2. How many MLS teams wouldn’t gladly pay $2M and Oba’s wages for his proven performance? There must be other factors involved, because, on the surface, this looks stupid.

    • I agree. This pathetic transfer makes MLS look pathetic mediocre around the World. Among MLS best leaves only for $2million, giving an image MLS as a broke league, and top MLS team (Sounders) can’t afford top talent, and Martins brings more $2million of value to the Sounders both performance and T.V. attention. I have no problem Martins leaving but for such bargain price

      • Eh, I’m bummed to see one of the more dynamic players leave the league, however- this is way overstated. Pretty sure “the world” isn’t obsessed w/ an Oba move or thinking much about it one way or the other… he’s a good player, but this qualifies as little more than a passing filler story /ticker at the bottom of the TV screen between larger stories on the world stage. And….. China throwing around foolish money aside- in general, players in their 30s don’t garner large transfer fees.

      • Dempsey’s transfer to Sounders? from Spurs? Dempsey was similar age? Note: Dempsey was $9million. 31 isn’t major devalue for high performer, hell, Martins is top player in MLS, his performance and Martins’ name adds great value to Sounders and MLS. MLS lost more $2million rather gaining $2million.

      • MLS Clubs transfer fees paid for USNT players would not be an example of industry standard…. more like a poor deal made well above market value and probably ridiculed much more than letting Martins go for 2 mil.

  3. I think 2 million is a little low, but that something like 5 mil would’ve been a little high. Therefore I don’t think this seems that horrible of a deal. I don’t like that this happened just before the season starts, but I imagine that Martins wanted to go, and Seattle remembers what it’s like to play a season with a player unhappy with his money. It could also be that Martins wasn’t taking to his new role, I don’t know.

    I wonder if Seatlle will continue forward with the 433, or be able to bring in anyone close to equivalent impact. I liked the way they’ve played with 3 up top, but I worried about their forward depth before this transfer.

    Morris is going to be a beast. Don’t worry about him.

    • Why didn’t another team pick him up, I just don’t get it (and Nemeth). He is a proven striker and has eliminated the guess work about his abilities….They both would have taken an even salary to stay in MLS. Can you imagine a team with Martins and Nemeth up top???

      • Nemeth has had a single good year his entire career (last year) and SKC didnt want to pay him what he wanted, they likely sold him at the height of his worth. SKC also gets paid on the next transfer when he is moved again after Euros. He also has a history of knee problems.

        Do you think its smart to ink a large deal, in a capped league, to a player who has jumped clubs basically every year, after the best year of his career, in a year that he will play a half season with your club and who has stated the national team is a priority? He is very talented, no doubt, that is why he was a Liverpool kid for a bit, but lets not lose perspective on a player based on a good run of form.

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