American soccer players Rebecca Moros and Beverly Goebel-Yanez are the only Americans in Japan’s premier women’s soccer league, the Nadeshiko League, and they are loving it. Moros and Goebel-Yanez have been offered contracts here after the U.S. Women’s Professional Soccer league suspended play in 2012.
And even as the U.S. has since announced the creation of the National Women’s Soccer League which will start play in April, both women plan to play their brand of football right where they are. Less than two months after WPS had folded, Moros and Goebel-Yanez joined a friendly match tour of Japan with Sky Blue FC. They played a game against INAC – short for International Athletic Club, which is based in Kobe – and within days were offered contracts.
“After experiencing the practice and experiencing playing against those girls, I told myself that this would definitely be an opportunity I could never pass up if they offered me to come here,” Goeble-Yanez said.
“If I can create the kind of learning experience here where it’s not just something that I’ve touched on, but something that’s become a part of me, then I can bring it with me wherever I go and use it every day,” Moros said. “Japanese soccer, if it’s a part of me, then it’ll be in everything I do as opposed to just something I sort of experienced. It’ll actually change the way that I live and work.
Moros and Goebel-Yanez are on a kind of dream team in Japan. In 2012, INAC had seven national team members, four Under-20 national team members, and one member of Korea’s national team. The team also is home to the country’s most revered women’s soccer player, Homare Sawa. The 2011 FIFA player of the year who captained the national team to gold in that year’s Women’s World Cup, making them celebrities across the country.
[ via ESPN ]