Nadeshiko Japan player Homare Sawa announces her retirement
Homare Sawa, a former Women’s World Player of the Year, announced her retirement from soccer on Wednesday. The 37-year-old Sawa, the former Nadeshiko Japan captain and 2011 Women’s World Cup top scorer and MVP, will hold a press conference on Thursday.
Sawa, who has a Japan record 205 caps and 83 goals, had said she wanted to play in next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It would have been a fifth Summer Games for the London Games silver medallist. The INAC Kobe Leonessa midfielder appeared in the World Cup for a record sixth time this summer in Canada, where Japan lost to the United States in the final.
Four years earlier in Germany, Sawa scored a vital, extra-time equalizer with a back-heel in the final against the United States as Japan went onto claim their first title on penalties. The title was achieved four months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami devastated the Tohoku region and the entire team received the Japanese government’s People’s Honor Award.
Having played her first game for Yomiuri Beleza’s senior team at the age of 12, Sawa made her Japan debut at 15 in 1993. She moved to the United States in 1999, playing for the Denver Diamonds and Atlanta Beat for a total of four years.
Sawa returned in 2004 to Beleza, where she scored 47 times in 85 games. She spent another two years in the United States, this time with the Washington Freedom in 2009 and 2010 before joining INAC ahead of the 2011 season.
She tied the knot with former Vegalta Sendai player Hiroaki Tsujikami in August.
Source courtesy of: mainichi.jp