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Orlando Pride land Brazilian star Marta

Marta, shown here celebrating the 2010 WPS Championship with FC Gold Pride, is set to join the Orlando Pride.

Marta, shown here celebrating the 2010 WPS Championship with FC Gold Pride, is set to join the Orlando Pride.

The Orlando Pride have agreed to contract terms with Marta. The club made the announcement Friday afternoo. WoSo Weekly editor Michelle Stile reported earlier this month that the sides had reached a deal but things were not finalized until Marta’s club FC Rosengard were eliminated from UEFA Women’s Champions League competition last week. The contract is for two years with an option for a third.

“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,”

{MORE: Pride to appear NWSL high seven times on Lifetime}

Marta, 31, has been a staple for Brazil since she was a teenager. She first wowed us as a 17-year old during the 2003 World Cup in the Unites States. Six years later Marta joined the Los Angeles Sol of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS.) She became an unstoppable force in the league, taking the golden boot and MVP in 2009 and 2010 before settling for a share of the boot with Christine Sinclair and a ceding of the MVP trophy to Veronica Boquete in 2011. Her team–the Sol folded after a season, then FC Gold Pride folded, then she went to the Flash–finished first in the league all three seasons. The last two ended in championships.

{LAULETTA: The rise and fall of FC Gold Pride}

Since the WPS ship went down in 2012, Marta has called Sweden home, first for Tyreso and most recently playing at Rosengard. She recently became a Swedish citizen.

On seven occasions Marta has been part of Swedish championship sides including four times at Umea IK before joining WPS. In 2014, playing for Tyreso, Marta scored two goals in the UWCL final but it was not enough in a gut-wrenching, 4-3 loss to Wolfsburg. The best she has done for Brazil has also been runner-up–as Olympic silver medalist in 2004 and 2008 and World Cup runner-up in 2007.


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