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Where EAST meets the Northwest


INTERNATIONAL STAR. Rumi Utsugi (#13, right) of Japan challenges for the ball in a match against Switzerland at BC Place stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The Nadeshiko defeated Switzerland 1-0 in the contest. Midfielder Utsugi has signed with Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League. (AR Photo/Jan Landis)

From The Asian Reporter, V26, #11 (June 6, 2016), page 13.

Rumi Utsugi signs with the NWSL’s Seattle Reign FC

Japan National Team midfielder Rumi Utsugi has signed with Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), pending receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Utsugi is scheduled to arrive in Seattle upon completion of her current contract with French side Montpellier HSC. She is expected to be available to play as early as July 9.

Utsugi, 27, was a member of Team Japan for the 2007, 2011, and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and has amassed 87 caps representing her country. Her professional career started in Japan in 2004, when she played six seasons for NTV Beleza. In 2010, she signed with Montpellier HSC of Division 1 Féminine, becoming the first Japanese player to play in the French top division. During her six seasons with Montpellier, she recorded 19 goals over 101 appearances in league play and helped lead Montpellier to four league cup finals in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

"It is a dream to play in a country ranked No. 1 in the world in women’s soccer," said Utsugi. "I have decided to challenge myself to play in this country."

Seattle is scheduled to play the Portland Thorns at Portland’s Providence Park on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30pm. To buy tickets, call (503) 553-5555 or visit <www.portlandthorns.com>.

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