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Orlando Pride’s Marta Named NWSL Player of the Month for September

The Brazilian adds another award to her trophy case.

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

It’s been a big week for the Orlando Pride.

Fresh off the heels of clinching a spot in the NWSL playoffs, climbing to a third-place finish, the club saw Alanna Kennedy and Ashlyn Harris win NWSL Goal and Save of the Week, respectively, yesterday. Today, the club extended the contract of Head Coach Tom Sermanni, saw several players and the coach named as finalists for the league’s season-ending awards, and, now, forward Marta has been named NWSL Player of the Month for September.

It’s the second straight month a Pride player has earned the league’s monthly award, which is chosen by the NWSL Media Association. Alex Morgan won the honor in August, becoming the first Pride player to do so.

Marta, 31, scored two goals in four appearances during September to lead the Pride to their second consecutive undefeated month (2-0-2). She helped Orlando score eight goals during September to finish 2017 with the league’s No. 1 offense, at 1.88 goals per game.

The Dois Riachos, Brazil native scored for Orlando in both the club’s wins during the month, including the game-winning goal Sept. 2 in a 4-2 home victory over the Boston Breakers. She added another on Saturday in a 3-2 win at North Carolina that helped the Pride leapfrog the Chicago Red Stars for third place in the NWSL.

The Brazil international, who was named a finalist for NWSL MVP earlier today, created 13 scoring chances for her teammates in September and finished the 2017 campaign with 64 chances created — 17 more than any other player in the league — as she has been a driving force behind Orlando having not trailed in a match since July 22.

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 in the league with 13 goals and tied for second with six assists — both club records. Her 102 minutes per point is 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.

Marta and her Pride teammates will travel to Portland this weekend to face the Thorns in the club’s first-ever playoff appearance on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in a game televised nationally on Lifetime.