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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 12, 2009

Marta to join L.A. team in new women's league

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Marta, a three-time FIFA player of the year, is joining the new women's league in the United States.

The 22-year-old Brazilian striker said Monday she will sign a three-year contract to play for the Los Angeles Sol of the Women's Professional Soccer league.

"I have in mind that a very competitive league will be created," said Marta, who has spent the past five years playing for Swedish club Umea. "We are looking at the future. I think it will attract many players."

The first game of the seven-team league will feature the Sol against the Washington Freedom on March 29 in Carson, Calif.

Marta announced her decision several hours before being chosen FIFA's player of the year in Zurich, Switzerland.

"Our mission is to be the premier women's soccer league in the world," WPS commissioner Tonya Antonucci said. "And we know that Marta, as a multiple FIFA World Player of the Year, will help get us there by raising our visibility both in the U.S. and globally."

Brazil striker Cristiane, who plays for Corinthians in Brazil, said she has an offer from the Chicago Red Stars, who selected her in an international draft in September.

"I will go to Chicago in February," she said through an interpreter. "I am going to see if I can do the best I can. There are a number of Brazilian girls playing there. We have many people looking forward to a great career."

Marta will be the star international attraction when the U.S. league kicks off in the spring.

Marta has yet to visit Los Angeles or meet David Beckham, who put the city on the soccer map when he joined the Galaxy team two years ago. Beckham is on loan at AC Milan of Italy during the Galaxy's offseason.

"I am concentrating on getting there and doing what I know best," Marta said. "Bringing the game forward and making it more competitive because the U.S. is very strong football-wise."

The U.S. women won Olympic gold in Beijing by beating the Brazil team, which included Marta and Cristiane, 1-0 in extra time.

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