New Sounder midfielder Mario Martinez said he had a great training session today, his first with his new club.
A few minutes later, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said Martinez will likely see his first action this weekend: either in league play Saturday vs. Vancouver or the reserve game Sunday at Starfire.
“We scouted him, we’d seem him play, and saw him play a lot in the Olympics as well,” Schmid said. “Today, his first practice, he just flies in last night. But you can tell he’s got a nice touch. He wasn’t afraid of asking for the ball when he’s out on the field. We’ve got to give him a little bit of time to acclimate and get used to everything. Obviously we’ve got our game on Saturday, and then we’ve got a reserve game on Sunday, so I’m sure he’ll get on the field.
“We’ll see (about Vancouver). We’re still thinking about that. We haven’t finalized our 18 at this stage. For sure if he doesn’t play Saturday he’ll get on the field for the game on Sunday, so we’ll get him some minutes.”
Asked where Martinez might line up, Schmid said: “He can play wide left, he can play underneath as one of the top two. He’s also played wide right. I think those are the positions for him.”
Here’s some of what Martinez had to say, through a translator:
On the chance to play in Seattle) I was really happy and it was motivating. I was excited to find out, and I’m just hoping to take advantage of this opportunity in the United States that anyone in Honduras would like to take advantage of. … I’m just hoping to take advantage of the opportunity because I’ve heard it’s a great place to be.
On his experience in the London Olympics) It was an unforgettable experience. I think we did a great job representing Honduras, and I’m just hoping to be able to … do the same thing for the club here and take advantage of the opportunity that I’m given here.
On what he can contribute to the team) They brought me here and they’re going to give me a chance, so there’s something that they had to have seen in me. I would think that that’s I’m a good shooter, I’m good on assists, I see the game well, I’m hoping that’s what I can help this team with.
Could you play right away) I would love to play, but that’s really a technical decision. If given the opportunity, I would do the very best that I can, but yes: I’m ready.