Martins playing for FK Bodø/Glimt
|Full name||Thiago Martins|
|Date of birth||4 September 1976|
|Place of birth||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Clube Atlético Juventus|
|1997–1998||Santa Barbara City College|
|1999–2000||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos|
|2001||San Diego Flash||20||(3)|
|2006||New York Red Bulls||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:48, 2 September 2014 (UTC)|
Thiago Martins (born 4 September 1976) is a retired Brazilian footballer who played professionally in the United States and Norway.
Early life and education
Martins was born on the east side of São Paulo, Brazil, and came to the United States in 1996. He landed in Los Angeles, at 19 years old and with little money. He eventually made his way to Santa Barbara, California, where he slept in hotels until his money ran out. He had to resort to sleeping on the beach. Fortunately he awoke one morning to a group of people playing soccer on the beach and joined them. One of the players took Martins into their home, even though Martins spoke little English or Spanish and they spoke no Portuguese. He began to play soccer in Sunday leagues, where Tim Vom Steeg noticed his skill as he attempted to defend him in one game.
Thiago agreed and started taking classes at Santa Barbara City College, where he also played soccer for two years from 1997 to 1998 under head coach Tim Vom Steeg. Vom Steeg soon moved to nearby University of California, Santa Barbara to take up their head coaching position with loyal Martins transferring as well.
In 1999, his first season with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team, he only played in 11 games due to a broken metatarsal, but still managed to score 6 goals. In his second season with UCSB, he scored 6 goals and assisted on 2 others for a point total of 14. He appeared in 18 matches and was named to the All-Big West Conference First Team.
Martins left UC Santa Barbara after the 2000 season to play for the now-defunct San Diego Flash of the A-League. He was drafted 56th overall in the 2001 A-League Draft, catching the eye of Colin Clarke, after putting in stellar performances with UC Santa Barbara and getting his green card during his senior year. After their demise at the end of the 2001 season, Martins joined fellow A-League team Minnesota Thunder, where he scored 2 goals in 11 appearances. Martins was subsequently released and moved to his third A-League side in Pittsburgh Riverhounds. With Pittsburgh, Martins hit his stride, scoring 8 goals in only 576 minutes over 8 games. Martins shined in the 2003 season, during which he scored 22 goals and had 7 assists in 25 games for the Riverhounds. For his performances, he was named the A-League MVP. After the end of the A-League season, Martins joined Major League Soccer team D.C. United.
Major League Soccer
With United, he played in five games before the end of the season. While training following the 2003 season, Martins tore his left ACL. After an extensive rehabilitation process which saw him close to returning to the team, he tore the ACL again. As a result, Martins missed all of United's 2004 season. After the season, Martins was selected 17th overall by Club Deportivo Chivas USA in the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft. He scored the first goal in club history in its second match, a 3–3 draw with San Jose Earthquakes. Martins went on to score two more goals during the season.
Martins was traded to MetroStars, with a partial allocation, for Ante Razov in January 2006. He played just one game for the re-branded New York Red Bulls before again being traded, this time to Colorado Rapids, for Peguero Jean Philippe. At the conclusion of the season, he signed with FK Bodø/Glimt of the Adeccoligaen in Norway.
Against Tippeligaen side Tromsø IL, he scored two goals in FK Bodø/Glimt's 3–1 away win in the last game before the 2007 campaign. Martins suffered a knee injury in this game and was not 100% when he made his Bodø/Glimt debut in an obligatory match on 9 April 2007, away to Hønefoss BK. Martins contributed greatly for his new club becoming top-scorer as well as scoring in the play-offs. As a result, Martins and FK Bodø/Glimt gained promotion back to the Norwegian Tippeligaen for the 2008 season. Martins had a good year with FK Bodø/Glimt in 2008, and finished fourth even though he was injured for most of the season. However, the success did not last long and Glimt were relegated at the end of the 2009 after a very poor season in Tippeligaen. 2010 started promising for FK Bodø/Glimt in Adeccoligaen, but their initial good form declined, and they ultimately ended up in sixth place. Martins' contract expired at the end of 2010, and FK Bodø/Glimt decided to not offer him a new deal. He subsequently retired from professional soccer.
Post-Playing Career and Activities
In 2016, Martins was teaching special-needs children and coaching a semi-professional Norwegian soccer team. When not teaching or coaching, he surfs and in October 2016 participated in the Lofoten Masters surfing competition in Unstad in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. 
- Soccer strikes chord with Martins From http://www.denverpost.com, Posted 19 October 2006.
- HOME MAKER; After living on the beach for a time with little money, Chivas USA's Martins finally found success in U.S. From http://www.latimes.com/, Posted 20 July 2005.
- Cal State Northridge Edges Men's Soccer 1–0 In OT Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine From http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com, Posted 4 November 1999.
- 2000 Final Statistics Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine From http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com, Posted 8 November 2000.
- "2/26/01: 2001 A-League Draft". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2013-05-27.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "San Diego Flash Come Away with A Wealth of Talent after 2001 Draft". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "Thunder Releases Forward Thiago Martins". Archived from the original on 21 August 2002. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "RIVERHOUNDS SIGN FORWARD". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thiago Martins.|
- FK Bodø/Glimt player profile (in Norwegian)
- Thiago Martins at Major League Soccer
- Colorado Rapids player profile at the Wayback Machine (archived 22 October 2006)
- "New York Red Bulls player profile". Archived from the original on 14 April 2006. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Chivas USA player profile". Archived from the original on 19 February 2006. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "DC United player profile". Archived from the original on 9 March 2004. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Pittsburgh Riverhounds player profile". Archived from the original on 6 January 2005. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Minnesota Thunder player profile". Archived from the original on 5 October 2003. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- UC Santa Barbara player profile