MLS MVP: Obafemi Martins Finishes Second Behind Robbie Keane


After ending a successful season on a disappointing note, Seattle Sounders FC fans still had one thing left to hope for. The MLS MVP award voting was to be announced, and it was widely expected that standout forward Obafemi Martins would factor heavily into discussions. He did! But he didn’t win. He finished second, behind Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane.

The outcome is the same as it always is – the Sounders do it all, only to be snubbed at the last second by the Galaxy. It’s frustrating, to be sure, and just feels like such a stale and predictable outcome. It doesn’t hurt, it aches. Never mind that Keane was a perfectly reasonable choice for MVP. In this case, it’s all about the jersey on his back.

Keane won the league, media, and player votes, though the media came closest to putting Martins in the top spot. The teams actually had New England Revolution forward (and third-place finisher) Lee Nguyen ahead of Martins. In the end, Martins finished closer to Nguyen than he did to Keane.

We all like the Sounders and we all dislike the Galaxy. We like Martins, who plays with hard-nosed intensity and always seems to make the most of important situations. We dislike Keane, who consistently comes across as a jerk while wearing the colors of a rival. Emotionally, we’ve been snubbed. Martins winning the award meant a victory for general good. General good was snubbed.

But rationally, Keane was always most likely to win this award. He had the objectively better season, and his team is in the MLS Cup, after all. If anything, this will quickly pass, but not before adding another spark to the fire that is this ever-evolving rivalry between West coast powers. Who should really have won this award? Keane, probably. Does that make it any less frustrating that Martins finished second? No, not really, though maybe it should.

Obafemi Martins had a pretty incredible season, and now he has a second place MVP finish to back it up. He’s the heart and soul of this Sounders offense and should be a big part of the team for years to come. Snub or no snub, Martins is a brilliant player. That’s what’s really important.