The Orlando Pride may just spring the surprise signing of the season in the National Women's Soccer League as news has been broken by Women's Soccer Weekly, that they have reportedly signed Brazilian superstar Marta Vieira da Silva, commonly known as Marta, for the upcoming 2017 season.
Marta is not unfamiliar with the US, having played in the defunct WPS for three different teams in the league. Since then, the Brazilian has been in Sweden but that seems to be now coming to an end if these reports are confirmed.
Brazilian ties in Orlando seem to be key in this signing
The Pride has always had ties to the Brazilian community in Florida and the country itself through its Major League Soccer counterpart, Orlando City SC. The majority owner of the MLS side, a Brazilian businessman Flávio Augusto da Silva, not only invested heavily in the club but help facilitate the signing of Kaká for the men's team as well as defender Monica Alves for the women's side. Da Silva may be key to bringing Marta in as well as the Pride look to dominate the NWSL and pick up a championship.
Details remain unclear as of right now as to how this signing will come about financially, but considering the stage of the season that Marta's current club, FC Rosengård, is in, the forward may not join the Floridian side until at least this summer. There is also no word on how long Marta will join Orlando for but should this truly happen, expect the Pride to make a formal announcement and ceremony for it which will reveal all the details.
A quick overview of Marta's career shows that the forward can still get the job done
At 31-years-old, Marta may seem a little over the hill so to speak but her performances in Sweden and for her country at the 2016 Rio Olympics have shown that the Brazilian is still very capable of making the difference for any team in any league in the world. From the minute she joined Rosengård in 2013, Marta has helped the team to three Damallsvenskan titles and reaching the latter rounds of the UEFA Women's Champions League. During her time with Rosengård, Marta has made 64 league appearances, scoring 38 goals and picking up 26 assists. This all shows the capability that Marta still has to help teams to championships and that is certainly what the Pride will want should this signing happen.
Her stints in the US will also aid her adaptability in the NWSL should this deal come to pass as she has played for the Los Angeles Sol, FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash in previous years. Her time with the Flash also coincided with those of Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan, who now ply their trade with the Orlando Pride in the NWSL. Along with Monica, these familiar faces should make her adjustment into the league that much easier and quicker for Marta.