OL Reign announced Friday the signing of forward Yuka Momiki.
The Japanese-American was raised playing soccer in Japan and is transferring to the Reign from Nippon TV Beleza of the Japanese Nadeshiko League. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Momiki is expected to arrive in Tacoma this weekend despite the Reign previously announcing the club is not holding voluntary, individualized training amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Despite this situation, I decided to transfer,” Momiki stated via Twitter. “It’s a really big challenge for me. To be honest, it’s really scary, but I will try my best to seize this opportunity!”
Momiki, 24, represents Japan internationally and had the equalizing goal in a 2-2 draw against the U.S. Women’s National Team during the SheBelieves Cup in February 2019. She made her senior club debut in 2011 and helped Beleza win five Nadeshiko League titles, four Empress’s Cups, three Nadeshiko League Cups and the 2019 AFC Women’s Club Championship.
Momiki was named to the Nadeshiko League Best XI in 2016 and 2017. Last season, she scored four goals and had seven assists in 1,459 minutes for Beleza.
“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,” OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore said in a news 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.”
The National Women’s Soccer League delayed the start of its season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Multiple reports state the league will announce an altered 2020 season where the nine teams participate in a tournament based in Utah this summer.
OL Reign is expected to arrive in Salt Lake City next week, according to reports, but the team did not offer comment.