Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Former Newcastle star named with David Beckham as one of top 10 greatest MLS signings

7 years ago

Former Newcastle star Obafemi Martins has been named in the top ten of greatest ever ‘designated’ signings in MLS history.

The ‘designated’ signings are a means for the MLS to try and bring in real quality signings that would be otherwise outside the scope of individual clubs.

The rule allows clubs and the league to get around the strict spending rules, with the league itself paying part of the wages and/or transfer fee.

Obafemi Martins is in some illustrious company in this top ten, with the likes of David Beckham, David Villa and Thierry Henry rubbing shoulders with him. say that few have taken the league by storm like the one-time Newcastle attackers did, making only 72 starts but scoring 40 and also making 23 assists.

At Newcastle he was more a scorer of outstanding goals than an outstanding goalscorer, getting 28 Premier League goals in 76 starts (plus 12 as sub).

Leaving for China earlier this year, Obafemi Martins has continues his form, scoring 9 goals in 13 league starts (plus 13 as sub).

Top 10 Designated MLS Signings of all time

Robbie Keane

Sebastian Giovinco

David Beckham

Thierry Henry

David Villa

Obafemi Martins

‘His departure was a surprise and his time in the league far too short for Seattle fans, but there have been few players in MLS history to take the league by storm like Obafemi Martins.

The Nigerian striker spent nearly three full seasons in Seattle, playing a huge role in their run to the 2014 Supporters’ Shield and ending his Sounders career with 40 goals and 23 assists in just 72 regular season games.’

Juan Pablo Angel

Diego Valeri

Ignacio Piatti

Cuauhtemoc Blanco

Designated Player Rule

‘The Designated Player Rule, nicknamed the Beckham Rule, was adopted as part of the salary cap regulations of Major League Soccer for the 2007 season.

The rule allows each MLS franchise to sign players that would be considered outside of the team’s salary cap (either by offering the player higher wages or by paying a transfer fee for the player), allowing MLS teams to compete for star players in the international soccer market. With a large part of the salary being paid by the league and not the individual club.

The rule is informally named after David Beckham, in anticipation of MLS teams signing lucrative deals with internationally recognized players of Beckham’s caliber. Beckham was the first player signed under this rule, signing a five-year contract with the LA Galaxy with guaranteed annual salary of $6.5 million.’


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to

Have your say

© 2024 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks