The signing of United States women’s national-team star Alex Morgan was perhaps the Orlando Pride’s biggest signing in their short existence. Now, the team has made another acquisition that could top that.
On Friday, the Pride announced the signing of Brazilian superstar forward Marta Vieira da Silva to a two-year contract with an option for a third year.
da Silva is a proven winner. She has won league championships for her clubs in 10 of the lsat 12 years. Her most recent championships came with FC Rosengård in 2014 and 2015 when her team won back-to-back Damallsvenskan titles. da Silva also won four more Damallsvenskan titles with Umeå IK from 2005 to 2008 and another one with Tyresö in 2012. In Brazil, da Silva won the Copa Libertadores de Fútbol Femenino and Copa do Brasil de Futebol Feminino titles with Santos FC. The 31-year-old has also won in the United States, claiming Women’s Professional Soccer championships with FC Gold Pride in 2010 and with the Western New York Flash in 2011.
“Marta’s resume speaks for itself. She is not only the best player in the world, she is a player that fills one of our biggest needs on the field,” Pride general manager Niki Budalic said, per the club press release. “Our goal this offseason was to evaluate our first year’s performance and give the Pride the best tools for success in 2017 and forward. With the addition of Marta, as well as fellow veterans Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan, among others, we are building a strong, exciting lineup for years to come.”
In addition to her championships, da Silva has also earned many personal accolades. She has been named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in five consecutive years, winning from 2006 to 2010. From 2004 to 2014, though, she has been on the final-three list for the award. In 2016, she finished in second place.
“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, per the club press release. “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.”
On the international stage, da Silva helped the Brazilian women’s national team to runner-up finishes in the 2004 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In 2007, she won both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe. She also became the Women’s World Cup all-time scorer with her 15th goal in 2015.
The Pride open their season with a 3 p.m. away match against the Portland Thorns on April 15. That match will be broadcast on Lifetime.