After his playing-time-request drama of the past week, Mario Martinez went 90 minutes tonight, assisted the Sounders’ first goal of their 3-1 win over Marathon, and was selected player of the match.
“I thought Mario did well,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “It’s been difficult for him-I know the articles earlier this week-it’s been difficult with him because as he’s been in and out of our training so much between his trips with the National team. I think there’s only like a six-day period where he’s trained in a row for us, but we wanted him to get back to the National Team, as well, so he could get games. We wanted to make sure he continued to get playing time, so tonight was a great opportunity for us to get playing time with our team, and obviously there’s going to be another opportunity for him to play on Sunday. He’s a clever player, he’s a good passer, he generally involves himself in goal-dangerous situations. He picked up an assist today, he picked up an assist when we played down in Marathon, and in know he’d like to have a couple of his shots back and hit them again. He’s got such a good shot that when he gets that opportunity he’s going to try and make use of it. I was happy with his play.”
Marathon midfielder Mario Berrios was asked if Marathon — which is based in Martinez’s hometown — had any special awareness of Martinez.
“Not really,” he said. “The match was of no importance, but for us it was significant. It was significant preparation and we got good training for what’s coming in the coming weekend.”