VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday that the club has acquired Portuguese fullback Luís Martins. The native of Lamego, Portugal has agreed to a contract through 2022, with club options for 2023 and 2024. Martins arrived in Vancouver on Tuesday afternoon and will officially join the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
Report: Experienced left-back Luis Martins arrives
“Luís arrives in Vancouver with plenty of MLS experience and has played in some of Europe’s top competitions,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “We were looking for options to add to our wingback/fullback group and Luís fit the profile as he has a great work rate and covers a lot of ground. We are very happy to welcome Luís and his family to Vancouver.”
Whitecaps FC fullback Luís Martins
- Third highest total distance covered (272 km) for all MLS players over the course of the 2021 regular season
- 55 starts and 60 appearances for Sporting KC from 2019 to 2021
- Over 190 appearances at the club level playing in Portugal, Spain and the United States
- Experience playing in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and La Liga
- Graduate of the S.L. Benfica youth academy
Martins, 29, most recently played three seasons with fellow Western Conference side Sporting Kansas City, recording a goal and seven assists in 55 starts and 60 appearances across all competitions. Last season, he appeared in all 34 MLS regular season matches, as well as both playoff matches, starting all but one of his appearances. Martins finished the 2021 regular season with the third highest total distance covered at 272 km.
Prior to joining Sporting, Martins spent the 2018/19 campaign with Portuguese side G.D. Chaves, starting 16 of his 21 appearances across all competitions and adding a goal, as well as an assist.
Martins also previously spent time with Spanish side Granada C.F. from 2014 to 2018, starting four of his seven appearances.
During his time with Granada, Martins had two loan spells including the 2015-16 season with then-La Liga 2 side Club Atlético Osasuna, starting four of his nine appearances, and then with Portuguese club C.S. Marítimo, where he started all 31 of his appearances in all competitions across two seasons.
Prior to making the move to Spain, Martins recorded two goals and an assist in 45 appearances over two seasons with Portuguese club Gil Vicente from 2012 to 2014.
In his youth days, Martins developed at the S.L. Benfica academy and began his professional career with the European giants in 2011, earning his first-team debut with a start in the UEFA Champions League group stage in a 1-1 draw against FC Basel. In total, Martins made three starts and five appearances across all competitions in his first professional season before spending most of 2012 with S.L. Benfica B in the Portuguese second division, scoring two goals across 10 starts and 15 appearances.
Overall, Martins has recorded 193 appearances at the club level throughout his career.
Internationally, Martins has featured for Portugal’s U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams from 2008 to 2015. He competed at the 2010 UEFA Under-19 Championship before helping his country to a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, starting three of his four appearances at the tournament. Martins also started four qualifying matches for the 2015 UEFA U-21 Championship.
TRANSACTION: On May 4, 2022, Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquired fullback Luís Martins, who agreed to a contract through 2022, with club options for 2023 and 2024.
Weight: 150 pounds
Date of Birth: June 10, 1992, in Lamego, Portugal
Hometown: Lamego, Portugal
Citizenship: PortugalStatus: International
Professional Clubs*: Sporting Kansas City (2019-21), G.D. Chaves (2018-19), C.S. Marítimo (2017-18 – on loan), Club Atlético Osasuna (2015-16 – on loan), Granada C.F. (2014-18), Gil Vicente (2013-14), S.L. Benfica B (2012), S.L. Benfica (2011-12)