NWSL

Utah Royals Sign Japanese Olympian Mina Tanaka

Jul 5, 2024, 5:31 PM

mina tanaka...

COLUMBUS, OHIO - APRIL 09: Mina Tanaka #11 of Japan takes a penalty kick during second half of the 2024 SheBelieves Cup against Brazil at Lower.com Field on April 09, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Amidst a challenging season, Utah Royals FC has signed Japanese forward Mina Tanaka from Japan’s WE League.

The Royals announced the signing on Friday, July 5. Tanaka is signed through the 2025 season.

RELATED: Royals FC Fires Head Coach Amy Rodriguez Amid First Season

“Mina is an experienced player that can have an immediate impact on our team. Her experience will be essential for the development and culture of our young team,” said Sporting Director Kelly Cousins. “Her goal-scoring record speaks for itself, and we are excited to bring her talents to Utah.”

Tanaka leaves Kobe Leonessa after scoring 37 goals across 58 matches. She scored 211 goals in 308 career club appearances and 30 in 74 senior international matches.

An elite goal-scorer, Tanaka earned the Nadeshiko Golden Boot Award four times and was named to the Nadeshiko League Best XI five times. The 30-year-old was named the Nadeshiko League Best Player in 2018 and 2019.

RELATED: Royals Manage Scoreless Draw Against Portland Thorns

“After the number of discussions with team members, its mission has got me thrilled and excited, and now it has come to the stage where I’d like to show everything that I have learnt and experienced in my career,” said Mina Tanaka ahead of her transfer. “I am so determined to be a part of this club, lifting the team to the level to compete in the championship title race. I look forward to my journey at Utah, and I appreciate all of your support!! We shall do this together!”

Tanaka will play for Japan in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Follow the Utah Royals with KSL Sports

Utah Royals FC will face the Seattle Reign on Sunday, July 7, at Lumen Field. The match will kick off at 4 p.m. MT.

Live radio calls of every game can be found on KSLSports.com. Select games will be broadcast on the KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM/1160 AM).

Find KSL Sports coverage of the Utah Royals here.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

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