Women's soccer's finest talent will remain in Women's Professional Soccer. Marta, the Brazilian forward who was MVP and scoring champion in WPS' first two seasons, reached agreement Tuesday with the expansion Western New York Flash for the final year of her reported three-year, $1.5 million deal with the league.
Marta, who has won FIFA's World Player of the Year award the past five years, scored 10 goals to lead the L.A. Sol to the 2009 regular-season title and a berth in the championship game, then scored 19 as Bay Area-based FC Gold Pride won the WPS title last year. The Sol disbanded last January, and Gold Pride folded in November.
The Flash, which as the Buffalo Flash won the USL W-League title last year, previously acquired former Gold Pride defenders Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades/Harvard-Westlake School), Candace Chapman and Kandace Wilson (Los Angeles/Walnut HS and Cal State Fullerton), midfielder Becky Edwards, and forward Christine Sinclair.
The club also has picked up Swedish national team captain Caroline Seger, U.S. national-teamers Yael Averbuch and Ashlyn Harris, as well as midfielder McCall Zerboni (San Clemente/San Clemente HS and UCLA) and defender Whitney Engen (Rolling Hills Estates/Peninsula HS). It made Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar HS) the top pick in the Jan. 14 WPS draft.