While it was not quite the prodigal son returns story, the return of Obefami Martins to the starting line Sunday afternoon was a sight for sore eyes for the 40,452 fans who watched their Seattle Sounders (11-12-2, 35 points) snap a five game MLS losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Orlando City SC (7-11-7, 28 points).
Martins was one of players to start against Orlando City and did not start in last weeks 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. Joining Martins in Sundays starting line up where newly signed players, Roman Torres, Nelson Valdez and rookie Oneil Fisher. With a revamped line up that had speed and pace, the Sounders began the game on the front foot making runs at the Orlando City defenders and creating space for midfielders, Erik Friberg, Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle.
With space and time on the ball the Seattle midfielders along with forwards Martins and Valdez where able to make swift runs at the slower Orlando City defenders who resorted to fouling the Rave Green players. Seattle earned five free kicks in the first 16 minutes of play but the chances were for naught.
Seattle’s hard work paid off in the 17th minute when Martins left footed shot found the back of the Orlando City net after executing an exquisite give and go triangle with Erik Friberg and Lamar Neagle for the early lead.
Seattle continued it’s assault on the Orlando City goal and the afternoon looked like it would be a stroll in the park when Orlando City defender David Mateos tackled Seattle Chad Barrett in the box during a corner kick and a penalty kick was awarded to Seattle.
Martins left footed penalty shot was blocked wide by Orlando City keeper Tally Hall. The PK save brought some hope but it quickly faded when defender Tyler Turner was sent off in the 40th minute for his second yellow card and Orlando Sc was down to ten men.
After the halftime break, Seattle came out of the dressing room determined to take advantage of the extra man and newly signed Designated Player Nelson Valdez’s snap header from an Erik Friberg corner kick did just that when he gave Seattle the 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.
Favorite son Martins left footed goal in the 62nd minute made it 3-0 and summer signing Thomas made it 4-0 when he score in stoppage time and sent the Rave Green Nation into a frenzy as they became punch drunk from taking sips from the victory cup, a nectar they had not tasted since July 3rd.
“I think our guys were tired of what’s been going on. I think with Oba coming back and [the new additions], there was an uplifted mood. The attitude of the guys – we talked about it before the game – ‘Hey, it’s time. It’s time. There’s no more time to waste.’ I felt they responded well to it,” Sounders FC Sigi Schmid said after the game.
Click here for match highlighs