Obafemi Martins scores two goals in Sounders’ victory
The Sounders opened the exhibition season with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in Tucson, Ariz.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Sounders FC’s exhibition season schedule began with a 2-1 victory Wednesday over the San Jose Earthquakes, fueled by two first-half goals by designated player Obafemi Martins.
The exhibition at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., started a run of four games in five days, which continues at 10:30 a.m. Thursday against Vancouver.
Seattle started several of its newcomers from a wild offseason against the Earthquakes, including goalkeeper Stefan Frei, defender Chad Marshall and forward Kenny Cooper. Frei was the only Sounder to play the whole game, as field players played only 45 minutes.
Martins’ goals came in the 27th and 29th minutes, each set up within 6 yards of the net by midfielders Lamar Neagle and Andy Rose, respectively. Former Sounders forward Mike Fucito scored the lone goal for San Jose in the 86th minute.
Rookie defender Jimmy Ockford appeared to suffer a knee injury in the closing moments, after colliding with Frei, but noted on Twitter that he “got it checked and nothing’s wrong so I should be good!”
Big summer signing?
The Sounders could be lining up a summer acquisition of forward Didier Drogba, according to reports from beIN Sports and Total MLS. The move would reportedly come after Drogba finishes the season with Turkey’s Galatasaray; the former Chelsea star and Ivorian international would be 36 years old.
Because Seattle already has a full allotment of three DPs, signing Drogba would likely require a corresponding move.
A Sounders FC spokesman characterized the link to Drogba as “a rumor.”
• The Sounders lost to Chicago in a weighted lottery for midfielder Benji Joya, a U.S. youth international who signed with MLS on loan from Mexico’s Santos Laguna. The Fire had a 68 percent chance of winning, followed by Seattle (29 percent) and Real Salt Lake (3 percent).
• U.S. internationals Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin are set to rejoin the Sounders on Thursday. New acquisition Marco Pappa has already begun to practice with the team.
• The Aug. 2 road game at San Jose will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and a Sept. 27 home game will be at 1 p.m.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184
On Twitter @joshuamayers