Hot on the heels of what is being hailed as an NWSL friendly Collective Bargaining Agreement between U.S. Soccer and the USWNT Players Association the league got another bit of good news today when Brazilian legend Marta signed a two-year contract with the Orlando Pride.
With a Brazilian owner in Flavio Augusto de Silva Orlando is a natural landing spot for the five-time World Player of the Year, who joins the Pride after her Swedish club Rosengard were eliminated from the Women’s Champions League last week by Barcelona.
Marta will be paid the league maximum for foreign players, which is just $41,700 but with the bulk of her earnings coming from endorsement deals the move to the U.S. should be a lucrative one for the superstar.
With U.S. star and fan favorite Alex Morgan due to return from a six-month stint in France with Lyon, Orlando immediately becomes one of the hottest tickets in the NWSL both at the stadium and over the Lifetime airwaves.
The 31-year-old, whose real name is Marta Vieira de Silva, has previously played in the United States in the defunct WPS for the L.A. Sol, FC Gold Pride, and the WNY Flash.
Pride coach Tom Sermanni was understandably thrilled with the move, calling the acquisition “a statement of intent,” in an interview on the club’s website.
The former U.S. WNT boss said of Marta, “ she’s not the kind of player you really have to coach,” describing the pickup as “very, very exciting, fantastic for me as a coach, fantastic for the players, and fantastic for the club.”
Sermanni might have added that bring Marta to the league is fantastic for the National Women’s Soccer League too, but the genial Scot likely assumed we knew that.