With the Women's Professional Soccer 2011 season months away, the Western New York Flash has given their fans something to already cheer about as they have acquired five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta.
How good is Marta? She's the Michael Jordan of Women Soccer, and that's not an exaggeration. Since joining the Women's Professional Soccer League (WPS), Marta is a two-time WPS Most Valuable Player of the Year winner.
“We are thrilled to bring Marta to the WNY area. This is an incredible opportunity for the community and youth soccer players to embrace one of the best female players ever in their hometown. She 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,” Head Coach Aaran Lines said.
Last season, she led her former team, the now defunct FC Gold Pride to the Women’s Professional Soccer Championship with her 2-assist, one goal performance in a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Independence. Along with the team championship victory, Marta won MVP honors for her spectacular performance.
Prior to joining the Women's Professional Soccer League, Marta was already a winner. Having played for Swedish Club Umea, Brazil’s legendary Santos FC and WPS clubs LA Sol & FC Gold Pride, Marta has scored an astronomical 166 goals in 160 games. In addition, she’s scored an additional 54 goals in 53 goals for the Brazil National Team.
Combining both her Professional and National career, Marta has scored a whopping 220 goals in 213 games. Fans everywhere will have the opportunity to see if Marta gives her new team a chance to automatically contend for the WPS Championship.
“As the league MVP in our first two seasons and the FIFA World Player of the Year for the past five years running, it’s terrific for our league, our fans, our teams and all of our partners in WPS to have Marta playing in the U.S. for the 2011 season,” said WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas. “Congratulations to Western New York, our 2011 expansion team, for signing one of the top stars—not just in soccer—but all of women’s sports.”
Hopefully the Flash will be the WPS team that she plays for at least 2-3 seasons because her first two teams, the LA Sol and the FC Gold Pride no longer exist. Of course, these were circumstances beyond her control.
The Flash opens their season away at the Boston Breakers on April 17 at 6:00pm ET live on Fox Soccer Channel.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. You may follow him on Facebook at Covering Soccer and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer and @LatinoSports143. Please email your questions and comments to Cesar at email@example.com.