The Orlando Pride have announced the signing of 5 time World Player of the Year Marta Vieira da Silva, known to the world as Marta, for the 2017 and 2018 seasons as first reported by Woso Weekly in March.
— Womens Soccer Weekly (@WoSoWeekly) March 9, 2017
OFFICIAL: The Pride sign 5-time World Player of the Year, the 🐐 , Marta.
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) April 7, 2017
Marta will join the club on a free transfer from FC Rosengard in Sweden, where she has played for the previous 2 seasons. She has not played in a U.S. women’s professional league since the days of the WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer). She played for the LA Sol in 2009 and won championships with FC Gold Pride in 2010 and the Western New York Flash in 2011 with current teammates Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris.
Orlando is a soccer city with strong Brazilian roots through Orlando City majority owner Flavio Augosto da Silva. Marta will be among one of several Brazilians in Orlando for both the Pride and Orlando City. Kaka currently laces up for Orlando City and current Pride roster already has names like Monica and Camila. Familial ties and a competitive market could be the positive selling points that drew in a world class player like Marta.
The 31-year-old star striker immediately makes the Orlando Pride a 2017 contender with Alex Morgan slated to return mid-season and off-season acquisition, Ali Krieger.