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Yuka Momiki signs with OL Reign

The Japanese striker’s current team announced her departure.

2020 SheBelieves Cup - Japan v England Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Update, 5/22 8:00 AM:

The signing was officially announced by OL Reign this morning. The team confirmed that Momiki retains U.S. citizenship, and thus will not require an international slot. She will be travelling to Tacoma this weekend to join the club.

“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,” said OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore in a team release. “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.”

Original story, 5/21 7:30 PM:

Reports have emerged from Japan that Japanese National Team forward/midfielder Yuka Momiki will be joining OL Reign. Her current team, Nippon Tokyo Verdy Beleza, published the news this afternoon. According to the release, the transfer came about quickly.

“I would like to thank the OL Reign, who offered me an offer during this global crisis,” said Momiki in NTV Beleza’s release (transliterated here from the original Japanese). “OL Reign is a club of great players. I believe that I have the best environment to grow. Not only do I appreciate the environment, but I also want to do my best to give back to a club called OL Reign in my play.”

The 24-year-old was born in New York City but has represented Japan in international competition. She has 31 appearances for Japan’s senior national team, where she has scored 10 goals. She made one substitute appearance at the 2019 World Cup, and appeared in all three matches in the most recent She Believes Cup earlier this year. Momiki also participated in the 2016 U-20 World Cup, where she scored four goals in six matches to help lead Japan to a third-place finish.

Momiki has played her entire senior club career with NTV Beleza, signing with the first team in 2011. She has been named to the Nadeshiko Division 1 best XI in 2016, 2017 and 2019. NTV won the Nadeshiko in each of the last five years, as well as the Empress Cup in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and the League Cup in 2016 and 2018. The team also won the AFC Women’s Club Championship last year.

Momiki also posted a goodbye and thank you to Beleza’s fans on her Twitter account shortly after the team announced the news.

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