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Obafemi Martins scores twice, Sounders rout Orlando City

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 16, 2015

Seattle Sounders players Thomas, right, Nelson Valdez, second from right, and Erik Friberg, third from right, celebrate after they defeated Orlando City. (AP)
Seattle Sounders players Thomas, right, Nelson Valdez, second from right, and Erik Friberg, third from right, celebrate after they defeated Orlando City. (AP)
Mark Moschetti Associated Press
SEATTLE — Obafemi Martins scored two goals in his first game since June 16 and the Seattle Sounders beat the Orlando City FC Lions 4-0 on Sunday to snap their club-record losing streak at five games. The Sounders (11-12-2) won for the first time since beating DC United 1-0 on July 3. That was Seattle’s only win in a stretch of nine games (1-8-0) while Martins, now with a team-leading nine goals, recovered from a groin injury suffered late in a 3-1 U.S. Open Cup loss to Portland. “I’m so excited to be back and playing a game with the team,” said Martins, who scored midway through the 17th minute, then midway through the 62nd. “It was pretty sad seeing the team losing a lot of games. But I’m glad that I’m back and we won.” Martins, still working his way back into game shape, subbed out in the 66th minute. “I’m a lot better, and I can’t wait to be more better and try to do what I can to help the team,” he said. The Sounders scored as many goals on Sunday as they had in their previous nine games combined. It was their first multiple-goal game since a 3-0 victory against FC Dallas on June 13. Paraguayan newcomer Nelson Valdez, signed Aug. 7, headed in a target ball from Erik Friberg for his first goal and a 2-0 lead late in the 51st minute. After Martins made it 3-0 midway in the 62nd, Thomas scored during stoppage time, his first. Martins could have had a third goal, but was denied on a 30th-minute penalty kick when Orlando goalkeeper Tally Hall dove to his left to save it. The rebound went right to Seattle’s Andy Rose, but his 10-yard shot from the right side also was saved by Hall. “He’s a valuable player to the team, and he brings special qualities,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said of Martins. “But like I said, the most important thing he brings is he gives everyone else on the field confidence. As their confidence grows, all of a sudden, guys who have been struggling played beyond themselves a little bit. It makes all the difference in the world.” Martins worked a give-and-go with Lamar Neagle for a 7-yard shot past Hall into the back left corner to open the scoring. His second-half goal came when he faked Hall off of his feet and tapped a shot into a wide-open net from inside the 6-yard box. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei earned his ninth shutout, Seattle’s first since the July 3 victory against United. Frei was not called upon to make a save as the Sounders outshot Orlando City, 21-5, and had 55 percent of the possession. The Lions (7-11-7) went down a man in the 40th minute when defender Tyler Turner was sent off with his second yellow card. “I’m really disappointed — bitterly disappointed — with our performance,” said Orlando coach Adrian Heath, whose team is still in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, but has just one victory in its last eight games (1-5-2). “We started sloppy and never really got a foothold in the game at any stage. Then we compound it by turning the ball over cheaply in the first half, then getting a guy sent off when we had possession of a free kick in the outskirts of our own box. We haven’t done ourselves any favors today.”
UPDATE: Adds quotes. Adds details. Should stand.
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