Obafemi Martins might have missed out on the MLS MVP crown, but the Seattle Sounders forward has picked up a consolation prize in the form of the Goal of the Year award.
The Nigerian captured the award for his stunning strike against the San Jose Earthquakes in a 1-0 win back in Week 11, when his chipped effort from close to the touchline lofted over goalkeeper Jon Busch and into the far corner.
Martins, 30, was one of the league’s standout performers in 2014, recording 17 goals and 13 assists in 31 regular-season appearances to break the club’s single-season scoring record, earning a place on the Best XI team and the three-man shortlist for the MVP award, which went to the LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane.
The former Newcastle United front man also helped the Sounders capture both the MLS Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup title in recent months, forging a formidable striker-partnership with ex-Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur ace Clint Dempsey.
Their efforts to claim a first-ever MLS Cup and historic domestic treble were dashed last weekend, however, after falling to the Galaxy on away goals in the Western Conference Championship.
Rewarded with a multi-year contract extension last month, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer reiterated at the time just how important the 39-times capped international has been to the club’s recent run of success.
“Oba has been an integral part of our team on and off the field, and has established himself as one of the premier players in MLS,” he said.
“He was a monumental signing when he first joined us last season, and we are thrilled that he will continue his career with Sounders FC.”