HARRISON, N.J. – NJ/NY Gotham FC Thursday acquired forward Kumi Yokoyama from the Washington Spirit in exchange for the club’s natural fourth round draft pick in the 2023 NWSL college draft.

Yokoyama joins Gotham FC after three years in Washington. The Spirit captured the National Women’s Soccer League championship last year.

“We are delighted to bring Kumi to Gotham FC,” Gotham FC head coach Scott Parkinson said in a statement. “They are a quality footballer that has represented their country at the highest level on the international stage and are also an NWSL champion. Kumi is a technician on the ball and extremely flexible in the midfield and across the front line. Aside from football, Kumi brings a bubbly and positive personality to locker room that we want and celebrate here. I am very excited to get them here and into training right away.”

A native of Tama, Tokyo, Japan, Yokoyama has enjoyed a successful career at both the international and club level. This past season in Washington, Yokoyama featured in 12 matches with 5 starts for the eventual league champions. The forward has starred for Japan, with a 2010 FIFA Puskás Award nomination for a game-winning goal in the 2010 Under-17 Women’s World Cup semifinals against North Korea.

“Kumi came to us and we had a conversation about doing what was best for their future,” Spirit head coach Kris Ward said in a statement. “Kumi has been an incredible human to have in our club and they will be greatly missed. While it is always tough to part with a player, we understood that Kumi wanted to do what was best for their career moving forward and we honored that.”

Gotham FC opens the NWSL Challenge Cup against the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.