Obafemi Martins leaves Levante, heads for Seattle Sounders
Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has bought himself out of his contract with Levante, the La Liga club said on Monday, amid reports he is set to join MLS side, the Seattle Sounders.
“This afternoon, Martins has deposited with the Spanish football league the amount stipulated in the buy-out clause in his contract with Levante,” the club said in a statement.
Spanish media reported the figure to be 3 million euros ($3.9 million).
Reuters reports that the former Inter Milan and Newcastle player, 28, joined Levante at the start of the season on a free transfer from Russia’s Rubin Kazan, and is their top scorer in La Liga with seven goals.
Martins is one of 15 foreign-based players called up by Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Harambee Stars of Kenya in Calabar, Cross River State later this month.
Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as an MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in the league.
According to Wikipedia,the club’s majority owner is Hollywood producer Joe Roth, and its minority owners are Adrian Hanauer, Paul Allen and Drew Carey.
Two-time MLS Cup winner Sigi Schmid is the club’s head coach. Sounders FC home matches are played at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC played its inaugural match on March 19, 2009, winning 3–0 over the New York Red Bulls. Seattle has sold out every league match, set MLS records for average attendance, led the league in season ticket sales, and qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs in each of its first four seasons.
In 2009, Sounders FC became the second expansion club in MLS history to win the U.S. Open Cup, and in 2010 became the first ever MLS club to repeat as Open Cup champions.
Sounders FC won a third consecutive Open Cup in 2011, defeating the Chicago Fire 2–0. In 2012, the Sounders went to their fourth consecutive open cup final.
However, they lost to Sporting Kansas City on a penalty shootout when regulation time finished with a 1–1 score.