After playing for two West Coast teams that went bust, the world’s most notably female soccer player is moving to “upstate” New York.
Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta has been acquired by the expansion Western New York Flash of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). The Flash has taken over Marta’s third year of her contract from the now-defunct FC Gold Pride of Santa Clara, Calif. FC Gold Pride was dissolved last November. Previously Marta had played for the Los Angeles Sol, which ceased operations in January 2010.
The Flash is owned by the Sahlen family, that runs a meat packing company in Buffalo. Former New Zealand international Aaran Lines, Alex Sahlen’s husband, is the head coach.
Marta, who will be 25 next month, is a two-time WPS MVP of the Year and two-time Golden Boot Award winner. In an MVP performance game against the Philadelphia Independence, the Brazilian ace led FC Gold Pride to win the 2010 WPS championship, scoring a goal and assisting on two others, in the 4-0 game.
With the Brazilian national team, Marta won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics. At the 2007 Women’s World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the community and youth soccer players to embrace one of the best female players ever in their hometown,” said head coach Aaran Lines. “She [Marta] has incredible physical attributes matched with phenomenal technical abilities. She is an extremely exciting player to watch and is important to the women’s game, and we are excited for her arrival.”
The Flash opens their season away at the Boston Breakers on April 17 at 6:00 p.m, live on Fox Soccer Channel. The club will play its home games at Marina Auto Stadium, Rochester, NY.
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