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March 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

A stop and chat with new Sounders DP Obafemi Martins at the airport

martins arrivalMedia got a chance to meet with new Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins at the airport Friday night upon his arrival to Seattle. The Nigerian forward, who will be a designated player, took some questions from reporters, and here is the transcript:

*     *     *

(How does it feel to be a Sounder?) “Good. I’m happy I’m here. (Sporting director) Chris Henderson came over to Valencia in Spain and tried as hard as possible to bring me here. Now I’m glad I’m here and I can’t wait to see my teammates.”

(What do you know about the team?) “I watched a couple of the games last year. They have great players. They have a great team right now, because I’ve seen them play. I’m going to say I’m happy to be here and I really want to play with them.”

(Do you feel you play tomorrow, physically?) “With all the traveling and I’ve not been training for a couple days now, it all depends on the coach anyway. Like I said, I’m ready to play. That’s why I’m here.”

(Was this felt like a long process or has it felt short?) “For me, it’s not fast, because like I said, Chris Henderson was like traveling from Seattle to Valencia all the time for the contract to be done and all that. And Levante, they made things a little bit not easy. But I’m glad to be here.”

(Why did you think this was the right move for you?) “When Chris Henderson came to approach me with my agent, we were talking about coming to MLS to play. I was, ‘OK, MLS is like the league and Seattle is like the team.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, they play good football.’ I wasn’t sure yet if I was going to come, it was because of Levante and all that. All of a sudden I just decided to myself, ‘Why not? Let me try and come a different league and all that.’ So that’s why I’m here.”

(Do you know any of your teammates?) “Like I said, I saw them playing. I know the striker.”

(Eddie Johnson?) “Yeah, Eddie Johnson. He played in England and all that.”

(Ever been in Washington or the West Coast?) “Not really, but I’ve been to Miami before. I’ve been to America before. But like I said, I want to play. I’m here now and I want to really enjoy the football here. I can’t wait to see my teammates.”

(And you’ll be traveling again soon to join the Nigerian national team?) “Yeah, soon. Maybe on Sunday. I just wanted to see the players and the coach and everybody first and move on from there.”

(Do you know anything about the CONCACAF Champions League and Seattle being in the semifinals?) “Don’t really know that much about it since I’ve been here now. I really want to try and play.”

(What do you know about the fans and atmosphere you’ll see tomorrow?) “Like I said, I’ve been watching the games and they’re crazy about football. They love the game. I want to really see how it’s going to be tomorrow.”

(And you’ve been learning about the Portland rivalry?) “Yeah, they told me and I saw it on Twitter — the rivalry. I hope we’re going to win tomorrow and I hope to see the game.”

(How did you handle the frustrations throughout this process?) “It was difficult, but like I said, I’m here now. So I’m glad.”


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