Join us for a Virtual Event Featuring the Stars of the Spirit
Please join this one-hour online event with Kumi Yokoyama and Saori Takarada, of the Washington Spirit and the Japanese national soccer team! This event also features Kikuko Okajima, chair of Japan’s WE (Women’s Empowerment) League. This “can’t miss event” is essential for anyone who wants to learn more about exciting developments between Japan and U.S. women’s soccer, including progress in women’s empowerment and new Japanese technologies to improve the fan experience.
US EDT: Friday, March 19, 2021 19:00-20:00
Japan Time (JST): Saturday, March 20, 2021 8:00-9:00
Advanced registration required.
Simultaneous interpretation available (Japanese to English; English to Japanese).
Gifts from Our Sponsors for Lucky Winners in the US.
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Born in Tama-city, Tokyo. Since December 19, 2019, Kumi Yokoyama has been a forward for the Washington Spirit in the US. Influenced by her brother, Yokoyama started playing soccer in kindergarten. After high school, Yokoyama got a full-time job at a local bank and joined Okayama Yunogo Belle, the bank’s team in 2012. In 2014, she moved to L.League Division 2 club AC Nagano Parceiro while also working fulltime at a local bank. Yokoyama became the top goal scorer in 2014 and 2015. The team was promoted to Division 1 in 2016, and she started playing professionally from January 29 of the same year. From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, she moved to the German Bundesliga club, 1.FFC Frankfurt. This is the second time she has played overseas.
Born in Toyama, Japan, Saori Takarada started playing soccer for a junior team in elementary school. In 2012, she joined JFA Academy Sakai as well as Cerezo Osaka Sakai as a middle school student. She is a member of the Japan National Team and has represented her country at the U-17, U-20 and senior team levels. Most recently, Takarada joined the national team at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. At the U-20 level, Takarada was selected as the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot winner of the 2018 World Cup, where she played in six games, scoring five goals, including a goal in the final vs. Spain, which helped lead Japan to the title that year. The Washington Spirit have signed Takarada in December 2020.
Originally from Tokyo, Kikuko Okajima currently resides in Maryland. She is the chair of the WE League and has played soccer since 7th grade, beginning in a men’s club in 1972, then moving into the first Japanese women’s club. She became a member of the Japan Women’s National Football Team in 1983. She graduated from Waseda University in 1983, and worked in finance at places such as Chemical Bank, Kokusai Securities, and Merrill Lynch (USA). She was appointed executive secretary of the Japan Women’s Football Federation in 1984, where she remained until 1986. She retired from soccer in 1989. Her current goal is not only to further women’s soccer in Japan, but to change the overall culture of sport.