Brazilian star Marta signed a new Orlando Pride contract Thursday, committing to play a fourth season with the club despite a rough 2019 season.
Terms of the contract were not announced, in compliance with club and National Women’s Soccer League policies.
“It’s wonderful for the club and the fans to have Marta, whose career speaks for itself, back with the Pride next season,” coach Marc Skinner said. “Marta is effervescent — nothing compares to the experience and passion she brings to our roster and I think this year she showed just how much she gives to this team. Everyone knows the quality that she possesses on the field, which we are of course thrilled to have back, but having the leadership and mentoring abilities of the greatest player to play the game will be critical to the continued growth of the Orlando Pride.”
The winger first joined the Pride in the 2017 season, leading the team to its first playoff appearance. Since then, she has become the Pride’s all-time goal scorer and leader in assists, netting 23 goals and adding 10 assists during the course of three seasons. This year, Marta led the team with six goals despite missing half of the season due to the World Cup and an injury.
After the announcement, Marta shared a message over social media encouraging fans to continue to support in the 2020 season.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m signing for a new season with Orlando Pride,” Marta said. “I’m so happy to stay with this club and keep fighting to build something very big. I’m sure 2020 will be much better so keep supporting us. This is your house, believe in this club.”
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) October 24, 2019
The only player — male or female — to become a six-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta set a record for most goals scored at the World Cup this year. She passed Germany’s Miroslav Klose with her 17th goal, also becoming the first player to ever score during five separate World Cups.
During her three years in the NWSL, she has been named to the league’s Best XI and Team of the Month, also earning Goal of the Week honors four times.
Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger was recognized when NWSL unveiled the Best XI voted on by fans, players, general managers, coaches and select members of the media.
Krieger appeared in 12 matches for the Pride this season, playing all 1,080 minutes. She finished with one assist. Her pass rate was 76.5%, averaging 37.7 passes per 90 minutes, while her duel rate was 57.7%. She had 47 clearances and 16 interceptions. The 35-year old defender missed part of the season while helping the U.S. women’s national team win the World Cup.