Chivas USA announced the signing of 29-year-old defender Lyle Martin after two seasons with North American Soccer League side San Antonio Scorpions F.C. Martin joined the Red-and-White as a trialist towards the end of the 2013 season, appearing in the club’s final scrimmage against FC Tucson. The defender returned for preseason training in 2014, but was sidelined with a foot injury that limited his activity while recovering.
Originally selected by Chivas USA in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft, Martin elected to begin his professional career in the USL-First Division, signing with the Vancouver Whitecaps before the club joined Major League Soccer in 2011. In 2008, the 6-foot-1 right back was instrumental in helping the ‘Caps earn their second USL title, while being named Whitecaps’ Newcomer of the Year.
Upon the conclusion of the 2009 season, the Bakersfield, Calif. native ventured to explore opportunities internationally, becoming the first American player to sign a professional contract with a Chinese Super League club. Playing at his original position as forward for Shaanxi Chan-Ba, Martin scored his first goal on April 25, 2010 in a 3-2 win over Shenzhen Ruby. During his stint in China, the now 29-year-old also spent time playing for two China League One clubs – Hubei Greenery and Beijing Baxy.
In 2012 Martin returned to the U.S. to join the San Antonio Scorpions. While with the Texan club, the Southern California product returned to a defensive role, registering a total of 462 minutes and an assist before joining the Red-and-White on trial.
A graduate of Cal State Bakersfield, Martin played in 79 games for the Roadrunners and tallied 29 goals. During his senior year, the prolific player notched 17 of his scores in 19 games, which earned him the California Collegiate Athletic Association goal-scoring title in 2006.