Marta stays put in Sweden -- for now

If the new U.S. women's pro league scheduled to launch in 2009 is to have any chance of getting off the ground, an essential first step is to sign the great young Marta, who scored two goals against the USA in Brazil's 4-0 win in the semifinals of the 2007 Women's World Cup.

According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, Marta, who's been dubbed the Pele of women's soccer for her extraordinary skills and scoring ability, was offered the equivalent of 7 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) for seven seasons by AEG to play for its Los Angeles team in the proposed league, but she re-signed with her Swedish club, Umea, for the 2008 season.

Umea agreed to double Marta's monthly salary of 50,000 kronor ($187,000 per year) to remain in Sweden. Umea recently captured its third straight Swedish league title.

Marta, who joined Umea in 2004, is one of five foreigners at the Swedish club along with Brazil teammate Elaine, Norwegians June Pederson and Lisa Klaveness and Swiss Ramona Bachmann.

Marta's two goals Saturday in Umea's 5-3 win at Djurgarden in their Damallsvenskan finale gave her 25 goals for the season.

Clubs in the 12-team Damallsvenskan, which plays a 22-game season, attract many of the world's top players.

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