Can A Brazilian Star Sell Women's Soccer In LA?

Starting next month, Los Angeles will have a women’s professional soccer team, the Sol, part of the new Women’s Professional Soccer league, or WPS.

They have a lot of things in common with the Los Angeles Galaxy — same owner, they both play their games at the Home Depot Center and almost the same uniforms (except that players on the Sol can choose to wear a little skirt or shorts; and yes we’re serious).

And both the Sol and Galaxy are trying to buy fans attention by brining in the biggest names in the soccer world. Hopefully Marta can have better success than her counterpart David Beckham, who sold himself brilliantly but not so much the sport.

Marta also has a tougher task then Beckham — youth girls soccer may be a wild success at the grass roots level, but that has not translated to the professional level. The last league came up quickly trying to capitalize on the success of the Women’s World Cup — when millions of 13-year-old girls wanted to be Mia Hamm — but folded just a couple years later.

The new league will have some games on Fox Soccer Channel, and with backers like AEG hit has soccer-friendly owners with deep pockets.

However, it needs stars like Marta to be out there in the community, on every bit of media they can find, selling the sport and making themselves accessible. A “get to know me” story in the Los Angeles Times is a nice start for Marta, but it just a start. Fashion shows are an interesting choice, but at least it's an effort. Players like team USA stalwart Shannon Boxx of the Sol and others have got to be just about anywhere they are welcomed, promoting the league.

All that is just a start, this is a big climb ahead of them. That mountain may look more like K2 than anything Marta saw growing up in Brazil.

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