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Who is Sporting KC Target Luis Martins?

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Sporting have reportedly had conversations with the Portuguese defender.

Belenenses SAD and GD Chaves - Taca da Liga Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

The secondary transfer window opened for MLS teams to add to their existing rosters for the next month to attempt to improve their teams down the stretch headed into the playoffs. Sporting Kansas City was thought to be one team that would be hard to gauge what they’d do this summer transfer window given the number of injuries they have had so far this season and the number of players on TAM/GAM contracts that might restrict their available funds for the summer transfer window. With that though, Sporting still sits below the playoff line in the Western Conference and plenty of questions have been asked of both the defense and the offense so far this season.

Today came reports that Sporting has had some serious discussions though with international defenders to come in. Specifically, Luis Martins out of Portugal. The 27-year-old Martins last played with Chaves in Portugal, where he played with former Sporting defender Nuno Coelho.

Chaves struggled in the Premeira Liga, Portugal’s top division, finishing in 16th place on 32 points and were relegated to the second division. Martins played in 15 of Chaves’ 34 league games scoring one goal and playing another six games in cup competitions for Chaves this year. With their relegation this year, Martins and Chaves mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the club, which would make Martins available for KC to sign as a free agent if they are that interested.

Before joining Chaves this past season, Martins had a journeyman career, he’d started his professional career at Benfica before moving to Gil Vicente in Portugal and shortly after joining Granada in Spain. In Spain though Martins did not make many appearances with Granada and instead spent a couple seasons while there on loan.

Martins did make a number of appearances for Portuguese youth teams through his career, including the Portuguese U20 team that finished second in the 2011 version of the tournament in Colombia.

For Kansas City, Martins would provide added depth at the left back position, where KC has already lost Rodney Wallace for the season to a hip injury. Sporting has also played Yohan Croizet at the position, and Jimmy Medranda has also spent minimal time there this season as well as in past seasons. Adding Martins would allow those two, who are both able to play multiple positions, to be utilized elsewhere on the field.

At the same time it would also allow Peter Vermes to rest Seth Sinovic, who at 32 has played in 22 of KC’s 26 games so far this season, starting all but one of those games. While jokes always get made about Sinovic winning the job come October, he’s also gotten breaks earlier in the season that have kept him fresher towards the end of the season. So a new left back who can take some pressure off of Sinovic needing to play every week would be a helpful addition to KC.

Obviously though the big hurdle that would need to be overcome in acquiring Martins would be the acquisition of an international slot either via trade or by one of KC’s current internationals (Botond Barath, Yohan Croizet, Andreu Fontas, Felipe Gutierrez, Nicolas Hasler, Krisztian Nemeth, and Johnny Russell) receiving their green card in the near future.