Marta, Alex Morgan leave Western New York Flash
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • February 28, 2012 @ 11:48am
In the aftermath of Women’s Professional Soccer’s decision to cancel its 2012 season, the league’s high-profile players are joining new clubs in different leagues with reckless abandon. The Western New York Flash lost Brazilian superstar Marta last week to Swedish club Tyreso and now has witnessed the departure of U.S. starlet Alex Morgan to the Seattle Sounders of the W-League.
Marta, the two-time WPS MVP, three-time Golden Boot winner and five-time FIFA World Player of the Year whose contract had expired with the Flash, joins former WNY teammate Caroline Seger with Tyreso. Equalizer Soccer’s Jeff Kassouf, one of the most informed pro women’s soccer writers, reports that the Brazilian will earn considerably less in 2012 than her controversial $500,000 per year WPS contract. Marta spent five years with Umea IK in Sweden before coming to the U.S. in 2009. As Kassouf reports, Tyreso’s newest signing will wear #100. Bizarre.
“The goal is to win the Swedish league this year and play Champions League next season,” Marta told USA Today. “I enjoy being in Sweden. It is my second home and I have very good memories from here.
Morgan, who was recently in the news because of her appearance in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue wearing only body paint, joins U.S. women’s national team members Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux with the W-League’s Sounders, a team affiliated with the men’s Major League Soccer club with the same name. With the move, Morgan will also be much closer to long-time boyfriend Servando Carrasco of the men’s Sounders.
The Western New York Flash will compete in Women’s Premier Soccer League’s newly-formed eight-team Elite Division in 2012 as Women’s Professional Soccer deals with its legal battle against former owner Dan Borislow and finds a workable business model. There’s a strong chance that the women’s soccer landscape will look entirely different in 2013, but in the meantime, keep tabs on the Flash’s Facebook page (the team website is in the process of redesign) and its Twitter account (@WNYFlash) for team updates.
As you can see, the world of women’s professional soccer is in a state of upheaval right now, as club players desperately seek playing opportunities with various leagues at home and abroad, while the U.S. national team members find a club willing to accommodate their responsibilities for the London Olympics this summer.
Here are a few solid resources to stay up to date on the events in women’s professional soccer: