Japan’s Momiki seals US switch

Friday, May 22, 2020
Yuka Momiki-Japan-AFP

Seattle: Yuka Momiki will soon ply her trade in the United States, after the Japan women’s national team star sealed a deal with National Women’s Soccer League OL Reign on Friday.

Momiki is a 33-cap international, five-time Nadeshiko League winner, and was part of the NTV Beleza squad which beat all-comers at the inaugural AFC Women’s Club Championship last November.

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The 24-year-old midfielder/forward – who will count Australian star Steph Caltey and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball winner Megan Rapinoe as teammates - is no stranger to the United States.

She scored against the world champion US women’s national team in a 2019 friendly in Philadelphia and was born in nearby New York City.

The latter detail is a major plus for OL Reign, who will register Momiki as a local player thanks to her retained US citizenship.

I can’t wait to play for OL Reign!

— Yuka Momiki / 籾木 結花 (@nicole_m09) May 22, 2020

OL Reign Chief Executive Officer Bill Predmore predicted big things for Momiki, saying: “Yuka is a young, dynamic player with tremendous potential that we believe will play an important role in our club this season and far into the future.

“We thank NTV Beleza for their willingness to allow Yuka to join our club at this time and look forward to seeing Yuka in Tacoma this weekend.”

Momiki is the latest top Japanese talent to join an American club, with the likes of Yuki Nagasato, Rumi Utsugi and Nahomi Kawasumi all featuring in the NSWL in recent years.

Photo: AFP

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