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NWSL: Orlando Pride signs Marta

The Orlando Pride have potentially made the biggest offseason move of the NWSL.

The club announced on Friday that they have signed Brazilian Women’s National Team captain, and legend, Marta. The deal is for two seasons, with a club option for a third season. The signing comes off a free transfer from her current club, FC Rosengård of Sweden.

“We are incredibly proud to bring Marta to Orlando, and I am personally very excited as I have been a fan of her for many years,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said. “Our technical team worked hard to add the best, most accomplished women’s soccer player in the world to the roster. We started the Pride to win, and bringing Marta to Orlando is a testament to our belief in this team, our supporters and the passion for soccer in Central Florida.”

A five time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Marta has represented the Brazilian Women’s National Team since 2002, where she has recorded 101 appearances, where she has scored 105 goals.

“Marta’s resume speaks for itself. She is not only the best player in the world, she is a player that fills one of our biggest needs on the field,” Orlando City SC General Manager Niki Budalic said. “Our goal this offseason was to evaluate our first year’s performance and give the Pride the best tools for success in 2017 and forward. With the addition of Marta, as well as fellow veterans Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan, among others, we are building a strong, exciting lineup for years to come.”

Since 2014, Marta has appeared for FC Rosengård a total of 43 times, scoring 23 goals. She started her career in her native Brazil, recording 16 appearances, and scoring four goals, for CR Vasco da Gama, where she signed in 2000 and remained until 2002.

Her career then took her to Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, also in Brazil, from 2002-04, where she recorded 38 appearances and scored 16 goals. Marta’s first trip to Sweden for her career came when she signed with Umeå IK in 2004, where she remained until 2008. During her time with Umeå IK, Marta recorded 210 goals in 103 appearances.

In 2009, Marta headed to the United States, signing with the former Los Angeles Sol of the former Women’s Professional Soccer League. She made 19 appearances in Los Angeles, scoring 10 goals. She stayed in the WPSL in 2010, signing with the former FC Gold Pride in Santa Clara, where she made 24 appearances and scored 19 goals.

When the WPSL folded, Marta headed back to Brazil to sign with Santos FC, where she recorded 13 goals in 12 appearances. She then returned to the United States to sign with the (now former) Western New York Flash, a new team in the brand new National Women’s Soccer League. She made 14 appearances, scoring 10 goals, in her lone season with the Flash.

In 2012, Marta returned to Sweden, where she signed with Tyresö FF. During her time with Tyresö FF, Marta made 38 appearances, scoring 27 goals. She then shifted to FC Rosengård.

The Orlando Pride will begin their season on April 15 against the Portland Thorns at Providence Park. The match will air on Lifetime, with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.


Photo of Marta courtesy of Getty Images.

Follow me on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, for all NWSL coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Rachael McKriger writes for Pittsburgh Sporting News, Real Sports Entertainement Network, Pittsburgh Sports Castle and Politically Incorrect Sports Talk, in addition to being a copy editor at the Herald Standard newspaper. McKriger also has a freelance photography business called "McKriger Photography."
You can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search "McKriger Photography" on Facebook.
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