Pride Forward Marta arrives in Orlando and trains with her new team for first time

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando Pride forward and five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta (pictured above center) arrived in Orlando last night and after a brief press conference this morning it was straight down to business as she met her new teammates on the training field for the first time.

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Pride play their first NWSL home game in their new stadium tomorrow and Marta is expected to feature in the game that kicks off at 4.00pm on Saturday.

The Brazilian superstar was actually acquired by the Pride in a blockbuster signing two weeks ago from FC Rosengård in Sweden. It was hoped that she would be available for the first game of the season away to Portland last weekend but the international clearance didn’t come through in time. She now joins the Pride on a two-year contract with an option for a third.

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando City SC majority owner Flávio Augusto Da Silva, club CEO Alex Leitão and Marta all spoke to the media this morning.

“Since Orlando took the iniative to build a women’s soccer team it showed it had the same intent it had for the men’s team” said Marta of the move to Orlando. “And also the way the people of Orlando breathe soccer, I was aware of it through social media, but since I got here I could feel the love and passion that the local people have for the sport of soccer and that is a great thing for an athlete.”

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Flávio Augusto Da Silva said “Our priority this year with both the women’s and men’s teams is to establish the winning mentality. This is the most important thing and Marta is a winner. She is used to getting trophies in her hands and she will also help us to build the winning mentality.”

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“Marta being here it shows a big commitment. We have very ambitious goals and we’re sure Marta will help us to achieve them” said CEO Alex Leitão

In addition to Marta, Orlando features 2016 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year and U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris as well as USWNT defender Ali Krieger. Sermanni’s squad also sees the return of 2016 Golden Boot winner Kristen Edmonds and international defenders Monica and Camila from Brazil and Steph Catley and Laura Alleway from Australia.

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“This will be a historic day for our Club. We can’t wait to walk out of that tunnel and feel the energy in our new stadium,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni (pictured above with Marta) said. “But there is a game to win. We need to show improvement over last week’s match at Portland. We’ve made adjustments and we’ll be ready for Saturday.”

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Pride opened their second NWSL season last Saturday at Portland Thorns FC, the same opponent the Pride faced in their inaugural match on April 17, 2016. Portland’s Nadia Nadim scored from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute and Christine Sinclair added a goal in the 67th minute to give the home side the win.

Washington Spirit, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-0 loss to the relocated North Carolina Courage. North Carolina’s McCall Zerboni scored the game-winner in the 18th minute as Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe made eight saves in the match.

Marta - Orlando Pride, Orlando, 21st April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Last season Washington won both games against Orlando in 2016 with a 2-0 victory in the first ever meeting on June 18 in Maryland and in the return fixture on August 26, Sarah Hagen scored for the Pride but Washington won that game 2-1.

The Pride play their home opener on Saturday, April 22, against the Washington Spirit. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium and it will also be streamed at orlando-pride.com/live.

More photo’s at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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