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Brazilian midfielder Formiga joins Cristiane on Red Stars
Daily Herald News Services

Brazil's Formiga celebrates after scoring a goal against Germany at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Shanghai.


Associated Press

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Published: 3/2/2010 2:05 PM

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A potent combination for Brazil's women's national team will reunite in Chicago this soccer season.

The Chicago Red Stars have signed Brazilian midfielder Formiga, a move that reunited her with Red Stars forward Cristiane. Both play for the Brazil Women's National Team.

Formiga (full name is Miraildes Maciel Mota). formerly played for FC Gold Pride in the Bay Area during the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season.

In 2008, Formiga was the first player selected in the WPS International Draft, ahead of forwards Kelly Smith and Marta.

"Her record speaks for itself," Red Stars head coach Emma Hayes said. "We've acquired one of the top playmaking midfielders in the world. We're going to be looking toward her experience to drive this team, and she's joining an already exceptional group of players."

Last season in her WPS debut, Formiga started in 15 of 16 games played for FC Gold Pride, logging 1,363 minutes. Players, coaches and fans also voted Formiga to the 2009 WPS All-Star Team's Starting XI, but a a right knee sprain prevented Formiga from participating.

ormiga, 31, is a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was a silver medalist with Brazil's national team during the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, and was a member of Brazil's 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007 FIFA World Cup teams. She also won a 2003 Pan American gold medal and participated in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

With the addition of Formiga, the Red Stars have dramatically bolstered their midfield this offseason, acquiring Oswego, Ill., native and former Sky Blue FC midfielder Julianne Sitch, and England Women's National Team member and Arsenal midfielder Katie Chapman.