One year ago, Marta made history at the FIFA World Player Gala by publicly announcing her signing with the Los Angeles Sol of the new Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league which kicked off in March 2009.
One year later, the Brazilian arrived at the very same gala with her first season of WPS behind her and made history once again: this time by becoming the first player ever—male or female—to win the award for a record fourth-time as she was announced as the 2009 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year at a gala in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday evening.
“I want to thank God for everything that is happening to me in my life,” Marta said after winning the award. “I also want to thank my football colleagues in Los Angeles Sol, Santos and Brazil."
"This is an individual award, but without my colleagues, I could not win anything. I am very happy to be the first woman to have won the award for a fourth time and I hope it helps women's football to grow.”
Marta made an immediate impact on WPS during its inaugural season. She notched 10 goals and 3 assists during the year, winning the PUMA Golden Boot Award as the league’s top scorer. In the process, she lead the Los Angeles Sol to the WPS regular season title and a spot in the WPS Championship presented by MedImmune.
For her season-long performance, she was selected by players, coaches, media and fans as the 2009 Michelle Akers Player of the Year, the official league MVP award.
She was also a first-team WPS All-Star selection and scored a goal for the WPS All-Stars in their 4-2 victory over Swedish power Umeå IK in the 2009 WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard.
Women’s Professional Soccer, the premier soccer league for women in the world, featured three of the five finalists for this year’s FIFA World Player Award, including Marta, her countrywoman Cristiane, who played for the Chicago Red Stars last season and England’s Kelly Smith, who plays for the Boston Breakers. The 2010 WPS Season kicks off April 10, 2010.
About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. The Inaugural Season kicked off in March 2009 with seven WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.
The league’s eighth and nine franchises, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will begin play in the 2010 WPS Season, which begins April 2010. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com .
The previous story is excerpted from a Press Release by the WPS by What's News.What's News is the alternate profile of Bleacher Report writer Todd Civin and is used to re-post Press Releases for the AHL, The WPS and the NY-PENN baseball League. Civin is a supporter of the award winning children's book A Glove of Their Own , which promotes Pay It Forward through sport