021 The three time FIFA World Female Player of the year Marta joins the city of Los Angeles and the new Female Professional Soccer League with the Sol. The new team of Los Angeles achieved a major milestone in women’s professional sports when they announced  an agreement with the Brazilian player last February 1.

She joins a potent Sol team that will be sure to captivate soccer fans throughout the Southland and already features three U.S. Women’s National Team players (Shannon Boxx, Aly Wagner, Stephanie Cox) and a host of others with significant international experience. The agreement comes upon the heels of Marta’s great accomplishment of becoming the FIFA World Female Player of the Year for the third year in a row.

“With the signing of Marta there is no doubt that we have brought in one of the biggest and most exciting pieces of the puzzle we targeted when we launched this franchise last fall,” said Scott Hanley, Vice President AEG Sports, who operates the Sol.  “She is a bonafide superstar in the sport of soccer who will undoubtedly electrify fans and raise awareness for both our team and WPS on a global scale.”

The Sol originally acquired the exclusive WPS negotiating rights to Marta on September 24, 2008, when they drafted her third overall in the WPS Initial International Draft.  In that draft, each team was allowed to draft four international players. The initial International Draft gave each of the seven WPS teams the opportunity to begin a formal negotiation process with each selected player upon receiving permission from that player’s club. For the 2009 season, teams are allowed to sign up to five international players each.

Marta has said “I am extremely excited to be joining the Los Angeles Sol. Knowing that WPS is going to be the most competitive league in the world made my decision easy.  I am going to Los Angeles to win as many titles as possible and achieve all the remaining goals in my professional life.”

Since 2004, Marta, a native of the Brazilian state of Alagoas, has been playing for fabled Swedish women’s club side Umea IK, helping lead to wide variety of team and personal accolades. Umea has captured the Swedish league title three times (2005, 2006 and 2007) since her arrival, and took the UEFA Champions League crown in 2004 and a runner-up finish in 2007.  In addition, they have drawn an average of nearly 10,000 fans per home game, easily best in the league.

A gifted left-footed attacking midfielder with a very deadly shot, Marta has also shone brightly individually since her arrival in Sweden, winning the FIFA Women’s Player of the year award in 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2007, she also won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China and the Golden Boot as its top scorer as Brazil captured the silver medal.

Marta and Brazil’s full national team first gained recognition on the world stage for their attractive, attacking football at the 2004 Athens Olympic Football Tournament, where they took the silver medal, losing to the USA in the final. Marta turned in some amazing performance at the FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada, and has been a fixture with the full side since.  In 2003, after some excellent performances in the Pan-American Games in the Dominican Republic, where Brazil won the gold medal, she received an offer to move to Umea, and has been there ever since. The Sol will kick off the 2009 season on Sunday, March 29 at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University-Dominguez Hills, when the club hosts the Washington Freedom in a 3 pm (PT) match.  The WPS Inaugural Match between the Sol and the Freedom will be the only one played in WPS that weekend.

* For more information or to purchase your tickets call 1-877-4-SOL-TIX or visit www.LosAngelesSol.com

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