I know that I’ve been rather vocal about the non-use of Mario Martinez by Sigi Schmid and I’m not alone. But Sigi’s comments yesterday were rather interesting.
(On what is Mario Martinez needs to do to see more playing time…) “Mario has been slowed down a little bit with a growing injury that’s kept him from going full out for a period of time where he was able to participate in like 70 percent of practice, but couldn’t get through sometimes the whole practice. So we have given him a little bit of time with that.
It’s obvious that may we had less information than what we originally thought. I’m not sure why it had never made it to the surface that there was an injury related problem that kept Martinez away from more first team appearances but it’s rather interesting at the very minimum.
The question is right now with his return to seeing minutes and the reported pay increase that he received over the past winter, does that point to the Sounders taking him seriously as a long term piece for this club?
Martinez does a lot of amazing things and is one of the biggest underrated players in this league right now. I get that the biggest complaint about him is that he “disappears” from games but I wonder if part of that is due to the fact that he doesn’t feel the need to be successful by only having the ball at his feet.
One specific observance this past weekend, shortly after he entered into the game he took off down the close side line and ran a specific route in an attempt to open up some passing lanes for Leo Gonzalez on the ball. He re-ran this route, successfully, three different times and the third time led to an overlapping run by Gonzalez that also lead directly to a goal by Mauro Rosales.
A lot of these guys do things off-the-ball that we don’t always pick up. It’s easy to point the finger to Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero and whomever else about them being lazy, but the thing is that so often they are sprinting and just winded for a moment. Sometimes that moment is just inopportune.
Martinez continues to show me that he deserves minutes, not just for the big things he does, but also for the things that don’t get recorded by Opta. I really hope to see him start tomorrow night.
Topics: Mario Martinez