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Soccer standout Kai signs with pro team

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    Natasha Kai, of the United States, controlled the ball during the Algarve Cup women’s soccer match with Denmark in March 2009, in Lagos, southern Portugal. Kai, 32, the greatest women’s soccer player to come out of Hawaii, has signed with New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, the club announced today.

Local soccer standout Natasha Kai is back in the pros.

Kai, 32, the greatest women’s soccer player to come out of Hawaii, has signed with New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, the club announced today.

It will be her second stint with Sky Blue. Kai scored six goals and had an assist with them in 2009 in her first action as a pro, and netted another five goals in 2010.

“I am very happy to be back in New Jersey and part of Sky Blue FC again, not to mention playing alongside Christie Rampone like old times,” Kai said in a team release. “I want to thank (Sky Blue head coach) Christy Holly, Christie Rampone and Sky Blue FC ownership for presenting me with an opportunity to be part of this great and respected franchise again. I don’t think the fans are ready to see the captain of the ship, two MAC Hermann Trophy winners, one crazy Hawaiian and all of my teammates on the pitch together. 2016 will be an exciting year. Let the fun begin!”

The Kahuku native holds several University of Hawaii soccer records, including the most goals in program history by a wide margin. She won an Olympic gold medal in Beijing with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2008.

Kai was out of soccer’s pro ranks the last few years while rehabbing injuries and also played with the USA Women’s 7’s Rugby Team.

“We are beyond excited to bring in a player of Tasha’s quality and proven track record. She is going to give us so many options on the field,” Holly said in the release. “Tasha is someone who comes with a huge personality that is very attractive to us and really connects with the fans. She has a renewed enthusiasm and a renewed energy to come back and prove again what a quality player she is. What a great addition she will be to what we are trying to achieve this season and beyond.”

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