[NWSL 2014 COUNTDOWN] After floundering for much of the 2013 season, the Seattle Reign FC has gone all out to rebuild its roster. Its latest signing: Japanese national team midfielder Nahomi Kawasumion loan from champion INAC Kobe Leonessa of Japan's Nadeshiko League.
NWSL: 2014 Preseason Schedule
Kawasumi was named the 2013 Nadeshiko League MVP, was the league’s second leading scorer behind American teammate Bev Goebel, who has also joined Seattle. She helped lead INAC to three straight league titles and has been on the league’s Best XI roster four years in a row.
She was also a member of the Japan national team that won the 2011 Women’s World Cup and took silver in the 2012 Olympic Games.
“Naho is a world-class talent who will add a different dimension to our front line in the coming season,” Seattle general manager and head coach Laura Harvey said. “She is a proven winner in both league and international play and will bring that important mentality and experience to our club.”
Besides Kawasumi and Goebel, the Reign acquired U.S. star Sydney Leroux, Canadian vet Carmelina Moscato and Scottish international Amy Little, among others. It will also have Hope Soloand Megan Rapinoe for the full season.
RED STARS OPEN AT TOYOTA PARK. The Chicago Red Stars' season opener will be paired with a Fire match in a doubleheader at Toyota Park.
NWSL: 2014 Regular-Season Schedule
Following the April 19 MLS match between Chicago and New England, the Red Stars will host 2013 regular-season champion Western New York Flash. The MLS game will kick off at 3 p.m. CT, and the NWSL match is scheduled to start at approximately 5:45 p.m.
The Red Stars previously used Toyota Park as a home stadium in 2009 and 2010 as a member of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). Its regular home is the Village of Lisle-Benedictine Sports Complex, which is just outside the city limits.
“This is something we’ve been dreaming about since the Red Stars were founded,” said Red Stars general manager Alyse LaHue. “It is really special for Chicago sports fans to see a men’s and women’s team collaborating on an initiative like this. We thank the Chicago Fire for welcoming us into their home and are excited about future possibilities to come.”