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  • Obafemi Martins, The Most Efficient Striker In MLS

    Reporter: Alonge Akinlolu
    Published: Saturday, 3 October 2015
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    Nigeria international, Obafemi Martins goals for his Major League Soccer (MLS) club, Seattle Sounders FC has set him apart from others. 

    Photo credit: sounders fc.com

    Danny Ciaccio of Sounderfc.com takes a look at Obafemi Martins' efficiency for Sounders in 2015.

    Sounders FC has taken the fewest shot attempts of any MLS club this season. There’s no need to be alarmed, though, when your leading scorer is Obafemi Martins.


    In 2015, the Nigerian goal machine has proven to be the most efficient attacker in MLS. In just 18 appearances, his 14 goals ranks tied for sixth in the league. Meanwhile, his shot attempts don’t even crack among the top 50 players. To put this in perspective, there are five players in MLS who have two or fewer goals on 40 or more shots. Martins’ 14 goals have come on 38 shots.

    Only once in MLS history has a player scored at least 15 goals on 60 or fewer shots (Adolfo Valencia, 2000 – 16 goals/60 shots). Based on his current form, Martins not only has a chance to join Valencia, but obliterate his mark.

    See the table below to compare Martins with the five scorers currently ahead of him, along with their league appearances and shot totals on the season.

    PLAYER CLUB GAMES GOALS SHOTS
    Kamara CLB 30 22 129
    Giovinco TOR 29 20 167
    Villa NYC 27 17 127
    Keane LA 21 16 65
    Wondolowski SJ 28 15 83
    Martins SEA 18 14 38

    It is no surprise that Martins leads MLS in a host of efficiency-based metrics. He currently ranks first in MLS in goals per game (0.78 GPG among players with at least 10 appearances), scoring percentage (38.8 percent – 14 goals on 38 shots) and shots on goal percentage (65.8 percent – 25 shots on goal on 38 attempts).

    Although Martins has proven to be a scoring threat when he’s on the pitch since the beginning of the season, his current form ranks among the most productive stretches in club history. Since returning from a leg injury on August 16, Martins has scored seven goals in seven matches. The Rave Green have posted a 4-1-2 record since Martins returned from injury, with the only loss coming a match where Martins was held scoreless. Since 2013, the Sounders are 28-1-2 when Martins scores a goal.

    The 30-year-old forward – who previously played for topflight European clubs Inter Milan and Newcastle United – has matched a club record with a goal in five consecutive matches, joining Fredy Montero from the inaugural 2009 season.

    This excellent run of play couldn’t have come at a better time for Sigi Schmid’s side, as the Sounders look to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

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