Vancouver Whitecaps sign veteran Portuguese fullback Luis Martins

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VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed veteran Portuguese fullback Luís Martins through 2022 with club options for 2023 and '24.

Martins, 29, spent the last three seasons with Sporting Kansas City, with a goal and seven assists in 60 appearances (55 starts) in all competitions. He appeared in all 34 regular-season games last year, as well as two playoff outings, starting all but one of them.

Kansas City declined his option at the end of the year. Martins made US$340,000 last season.

"Luís arrives in Vancouver with plenty of MLS experience and has played in some of Europe's top competitions," Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement Wednesday. "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."

The former Portuguese youth international started his club career with the Benfica academy and made his first team debut in 2011 in the Champions League group stage in a 1-1 draw against FC Basel. Martins made three starts and five appearances across all competitions in his first pro season before spending most of 2012 with Benfica's B team in the Portuguese second division.

He played for Portugal's Gil Vicente from 2012 to 2014 before moving to Spain to play for Granada CF from 2014 to 2018. During his time with Granada, Martins had loan spells at Club Atletico Osasuna in Spain and CS Marítimo in Portugal.

Martins spent the 2018-19 season with Portugal's GD Chaves before moving to MLS.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022

The Canadian Press

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