Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta will return to Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) next year, with reports Tuesday night having her settling with expansion team Western New York Flash. The story was announced on Twitter by Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Jeff DiVeronica, who claimed Western New York's president as his source:
WNY Flash President Alex Sahlen & coach Aaran Lines just told me the expansion club has acquired FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta
Marta was Women's Professional Soccer's leading scorer last season, registering 19 goals in 24 matches for eventual league champion FC Gold Pride. Gold Pride ceased operations at the end of the season, the second year in a row Marta was left without a club. Los Angeles Sol folded following their first season, having finished 2009 with Women's Professional Soccer's best record.
In two seasons in WPS, Marta has registered 29 goals in 43 matches. In 2010, she was named Most Valuable Player as well as FIFA World Footballer of the Year, an award she's won every year since 2006.
Western New York's will start its first season in WPS this spring and have already signed a number of Marta's former Gold Pride teammates, including Christine Sinclair and reigning Rookie of the Year Ali Riley. Western New York, who will play their games in Rochester, also have added former University of California star Alex Morgan, the first pick in the 2011 WPS Draft.