‘The negotiation was long and difficult,’ says Farah of creating Marta’s LA story

Drawing primarily from online sources in Brazil and Sweden (links provided), the timeline summarizes some three months of negotiations over Marta Vieira da Silva‘s transfer to Los Angeles Sol. Go to main article »

Sept 24

Formiga

Marta is selected as the third player overall, behind Brazil teammate Formiga (Bay Area, right) and England’s Kelly Smith (Boston), in the Women’s Professional Soccer international draft. WPS clearly wants Marta in a top U.S. market under the aegis of a billionaire owner, AEG’s Philip Anschutz.

Nov 2

Marta’s club side since 2004, Umeå IK of the Swedish Damallsvenskan, makes its first contract offer to Marta’s agent, Fabiano Farah. The club hopes to secure the Brazilian playmaker on a multi-year deal to ease the stress, club director Britta Åkerlund says, of negotiating one-year contracts each fall.

Nov 12

Umeå IK defeats Arsenal 6–0 to advance to the UEFA Women’s Cup semifinals 8–3 on aggregate. Marta scores within 14 seconds and adds three more goals in what becomes her farewell appearance at Gammliavallen stadium.

Nov 17

Marta joins Ronaldo‘s team in a United Nations–supported charity match in Fes, Morocco, coming on as a substitute and contributing an assist.

Nov 21

Swedish sources report that Marta wants to stay in Umeå. Subsequent stories claim that Los Angeles had dropped out of the bidding war. In retrospect, Farah appears to have been playing one side against the other; in Umeå’s view, Umeå remained a second choice in case the WPS deal went awry.

Nov 25

Umeå IK

Given new hope, Umeå IK launches its “Rädda Marta” (Save Marta) campaign, calling on sponsors to help retain “the community’s most famous resident.” Local newspaper publisher Västerbottens-Kuriren pledges $125,000 over three years toward Marta’s salary. Rival Damallsvenskan side LDB Malmö earlier had offered to pitch in, just to keep the Brazilian in Sweden. Malmö ultimately would make its own contract proposal, using the lure of a €100m World Village of Women Sports planned in the city.

Nov 26

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