The Red Stars have sent a message: good enough isn’t good enough.
That message rang out loud and clear earlier today when they announced the signing of 29-year-old Japanese international Yuki Nagasato. The midfielder/striker is expected to officially join the team next week, pending the approval of her International Transfer Certificate.
Nagasato (nee Ogimi) has been a player admired and feared by WoSo fans across the world for her uncompromising play with the Japan WNT. She has scored 58 international goals, the most out of the current player pool. She’s appeared in three Women’s World Cups and is a two-time Olympian. She was instrumental in Japan’s upset win over the USWNT in the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final.
Nagasato recently revisited her role as Scourge of the USWNT last summer when she scored this beauty in a friendly:
Nagasato also brings a wealth of experience from a lengthy club career, beginning with NTV Beleza in Japan’s women’s Division I league and winding its way to England (Chelsea) and Germany (Wolfsburg, FFC Frankfurt).
In addition to her experience, Nagasato will add some flexibility to the Red Stars squad. Capable of playing as an attacker and in midfield, her technical prowess and finishing ability will give Rory Dames plenty of options for putting a teamsheet together. It also means that other members of the squad will have to work harder to keep their starting spots— which, given the Red Stars’ early-season stumbles, may not be a bad thing.
Nagasato is expected to arrive in Chicago on May 31st. Assuming there are no problems with her visa or her ITC, she could be available for selection as soon as the home game against Seattle on June 4th.