Marta helped Orlando go 2-0-2 in September. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
CHICAGO – Orlando Pride forward Marta was voted the National Women’s Soccer League player of the month for September by the NWSL Media Association.
Marta, 31, had two goals in four appearances during September to lead the Pride to its second consecutive undefeated month with a 2-0-2 record over the final 30 days of the regular season. Orlando scored eight goals during the month to finish the season with the league’s No. 1 offense in the league – with its 1.88 goals per game the fourth best single-season mark in NWSL history. The Pride went undefeated over the final nine matches of the regular season to clinch the first playoff appearance in club history.
The Dois Riachos, Brazil native scored for Orlando in the club’s two wins in September. She netted the game-winning goal Sept. 2 in a 4-2 home victory over the Boston Breakers and found the back of the net Sept. 30 during a 3-2 road win against the North Carolina Courage. The victory over North Carolina was the fifth road win of the year for Orlando – the second most in the league this season – and set up a semifinal showdown with Portland Thorns FC in the 2017 NWSL Playoffs.
The five-time FIFA world player of the year made 23 appearances in her first season in the NWSL and finished the year ranked second with 13 goals and tied for second with six assists. Her 102 minutes per point is also the second-best career mark among NWSL players who have logged at least 1,500 minutes – trailing only former Western New York Flash forward Abby Wambach.
It is the first time Marta has been honored as the NWSL player of the month and the second time a Pride player has won the award after Alex Morgan earned the accolade in August.
The Pride will return to action against Portland Thorns FC in the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Lifetime.
The NWSL player of the month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis.