Three Sounders have national team duty

As the Seattle Sounders will discover this weekend, upgrading the talent on a team’s roster does come with one small side effect.

Three of Seattle’s top offensive talents, forwards Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins and midfielder Mario Martinez, all players who have been acquired in the last 13 months, will be away for national team duty this weekend when the Sounders play at San Jose. All three will represent their respective countries in World Cup qualifiers. The Earthquakes, meanwhile, will be without defenders Justin Morrow and Victor Bernardez.

Johnson will be with the U.S. National team for Friday’s game in Denver against Costa Rica, and a March 26 game against Mexico in Mexico City’s famed Estadio Azteca. Johnson, 28, has been a regular on Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. teams since being called in for World Cup qualifying last fall. Prior to reviving his career with the Sounders, Johnson had not been called up by the U.S. team since 2010.

Martinez, who has been a standout for Honduras on the international stage, will represent his country in games against Mexico and Panama.

Martins, Seattle’s newest designated player signing who made his Sounders debut off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Portland, will join Nigeria for a game against Kenya on Saturday.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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