Nahomi Kawasumi scored a vital goal in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

HARRISON, N.J. – Sky Blue FC has signed midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi to a new contract for the 2001 National Women’s Soccer League season, it was announced Wednesday.

Terms included a one-year contract with an option for a second year.

“I am so excited to be able to play for Sky Blue FC again next season,” Kawasumi said in a statement. “I am working very hard this offseason to grow as a player and improve my skills so that we can have a successful season next year. I hope I will be able to see you at the stadium next season. Thank you so much for your support as always, and I will be ready to help our team any way possible to have a successful season.”

Kawasumi is on loan at INAC Kobe Leonessa through the Nadeshiko League Division 1 season in December. She made her professional debut and captained the INAC Kobe to league titles in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Kawasumi was the league’s top scorer in 2011 and MVP in 2011 and 2013. INAC Kobe Leonessa sits second in the Nadeshiko League Division 1 table.

“We are extremely happy to have Naho returning for another Season with Sky Blue,” Sky Blue FC head coach Freya Coombe said in a statement. “She has such a positive impact on the daily training environment and raises the level of those around her. Naho’s wealth of experience and success at top level makes her such a valuable contributor to the team.”

Since joining Sky Blue in 2019, Kawasumi has made 25 appearances and played every minute during the NWSL Challenge Cup. During the Challenge Cup, Kawasumi caught Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell off her line and scored from long range, earning herself woman of the match honors. Kawasumi was a vital creator in the midfield throughout the tournament, having averaged more 40 passes per 90 minutes with an 80 percent completion rate.

“Over the course of the past season, Naho really found her way and was a great contributor to the Club,” Sky Blue FC general manager Alyse LaHue said in a statement. “We are looking forward to this continuing in 2021.”

Sky Blue FC will begin the pre-season Feb. 1, with the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup set to kick-off mid-April. The team is preparing for a 24-match season, beginning in mid-May.