Kawasumi first joined the Reign in 2014 on loan from Japanese club INAC Kobe Leonessa. Kawasumi spent four seasons total with the Reign, having earned a full contract from Seattle in 2016. Kawasumi played in 68 games for the Reign and scored 18 career goals.
“Nahomi has had over a decade of experience with the Japanese national team and her international experience alone is a huge asset for us,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said in a press release. “In addition, she has had proven success in this league, success that we believe will transfer here to Sky Blue.”
? Trade ?
We have acquired Nahomi Kawasumi from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for Shea Groom.
— Sky Blue FC (@SkyBlueFC) January 15, 2019
“I will play for Sky Blue FC this season,” Kawasumi said. “I am looking forward to playing with my new teammates. I will do my best for Sky Blue and will cooperate with the team for the championship and I’m very happy for you to call me ‘Naho’ when you cheer for me.”
Kawasumi shared the following statement regarding her departure from Seattle:
“Hello, our precious fans of Seattle Reign FC. I am going to play for Sky Blue FC this season. I tried to do my first challenge to play outside Japan in U.S.A. Seattle Reign FC gave me such a feeling that playing in NWSL is so fun!! My teammates, coaches, staff, fans, and the city of Seattle has been the best for me. Although I’m very sad to leave my favorite club, please say hello again because we are friends forever. I hope Seattle Reign FC will achieve a good outcome. I appreciate all of you, Seattle.”
Groom’s will be reunited with her former FC Kansas City coach, Vlatko Andonovski, in his second season as head coach for Reign FC. Groom has been in the NWSL since 2015 and has played 75 games between her time at FCKC in 2015 and 2016, and Sky Blue FC for the past two seasons. The forward has scored 19 goals in her professional career and scored two goals in 2018 with Sky Blue.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Shea again,” Andonovski said in a press release. “She’s a very talented player. She was an impactful player for me in Kansas City and I know she’ll fit in well in Seattle.”
— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) January 15, 2019
“I’m both humbled and honored to join the Reign family,” said Groom. “It’s an incredible organization that breeds success in this league and I’m happy to be a part of it.”