(Born on February 19, 1986) -- There’s a little sorrow involved in the local career of soccer superstar Marta. She has to be the best player ever to dress for a Western New York team who never played a game in Western New York.
Marta is the gold standard when it comes to women’s soccer. She was discovered in Brazil at the age of 14, and trained with one of that country’s top soccer clubs. Marta turned pro in 2000 but saw the team fold in 2002.
It was on to other club teams from there, and she was named the world’s best woman’s soccer player in 2006 ... and for the next four years after that as well. Marta came to America in 2009, and the Western New York Flash acquired her rights in 2011.
The expansion team was loaded with talent, and Marta fit right in. She helped the team - which played its home games in Rochester because of stadium issues - win a championship.
Then Marta moved on to Sweden to play in a women’s league there. She’s played in the Olympics, and is the top scorer in women’s World Cup history. Marta even has been named an official good will ambassador for the United Nations.
--- Budd Bailey