— Carlos Ayats Pérez (@CarlosAyats) March 1, 2013
We’re a day away from opening weekend, but it’s hard to ignore the potential arrival of Obafemi Martins.
So what are the latest updates? Well, one report from Spain says it’s a done deal, if not official. Another says the terms haven’t been agreed upon yet. Certainly, nearly all the indications so far have been that it will get done eventually, so more patience — tough as it may be for some fans — might be required.
Martins, though, has been active on Twitter. His interaction with fans makes it seems like he’s a man soon on the move and he recently changed his Twitter profile (picture and all) to remove any indications he plays for Levante. He, of course, had an interesting tweet regarding the Sounders early in our knowledge of the interest, and we’ve also seen guys like Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez give similar indications on Twitter before changing teams.
Elsewhere, Martins could be soon called back into the Nigerian national team (he wasn’t involved in the African Cup of Nations).
Also, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was on KJR radio Thursday and said he was crossing his fingers and more in hopes the deal would get done soon. “I think (Martins) would be a very, very good addition to our team,” the coach said on air.
Let’s get to some links:
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— First off, Reign FC announced a popular signing in forward/midfielder Lyndsey Patterson, a local product. “Being from here I always wanted to play professional soccer and to play in front of my family of friends is a dream come true,” said Patterson in a news release. “I love the fans here and the great atmosphere they create. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be joining Reign FC.”
— Our season preview is now online, including a feature on MLS Cup becoming more of a singular focus, a roster and quick bios, a schedule and key games, some burning questions and my debut power rankings.
— There was Sounders’ representation on Soccer By Ives’ All-Rookie XI and his ‘Due for a Breakout Season XI’. In a similar vein, Top Drawer Soccer breaks down the Rookie of the Year race, and du Nord has a list of 30 breakout players for 2013 (each include a Seattle player).
— Christian Tiffert‘s absence here is starting to get more attention.
— Around the league, the LA Galaxy had some strong words regarding the team’s DP hunt, here’s a update on Edson Buddle with the Rapids, MLSsoccer.com has its MVP picks, and Dwayne De Rosario has suspended and fined for a preseason headbutt.
— Also, former lower-leagues Sounder Brian Ching will continue on as a player-coach for Houston, the Dynamo president got a new deal, here’s a piece on the Whitecaps under coach Martin Rennie, a you might not have guessed how many second-generation MLS guys are in the league.
— And some more, Toronto FC had a big signing (Welsh int’l forward Robert Earnshaw) and a few minor signings, New England added a draft pick, and the Galaxy made a trade with Philadelphia for forward Chandler Hoffman.
— The Supporters’ Shield has a new look.
— GoalWA.net caught up with Sounders Women’s technical director and University of Washington women’s soccer coach Lesle Gallimore. The Equalizer interviewed former Sounders Women’s star and UW product Veronica Perez.
— Around the world, Jozy Altidore continues to produce at a crazy pace in Holland. Ryan Giggs signed on for another year with Manchester United, and Chelsea’s interim manager Rafa Benitez had a bit of a rant recently.
— Lastly, a video on one of the great moments in that history — the original “dos a cero.”