Yuki Nagasato traded back to Red Stars following engagement


The Chicago Red Stars and Racing Louisville FC announced Tuesday that they had completed a trade, sending Yuki Nagasato back to the Windy City. In exchange, Racing received Chicago’s 2023 third round draft pick along with an international roster slot for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

“I was extremely pleased to work with Racing Louisville during its first season,” Nagasato said. “I actually didn’t want say goodbye so soon, but this decision was needed for my personal life, not just my soccer life. I got engaged to my partner who lives in Chicago, and we decided to build our life there. But I also wanted to keep playing, so I really am grateful for Racing’s understanding.

The forward arrived in Louisville as part of a trade with Chicago in 2020. In 2021, Nagasato made 21 appearances, scoring two goals.

“The club has been super supportive before, during and after the season,” she continued. “I’ll keep wishing them success in their journey. I really loved to play at our incredible stadium in front of our amazing fans. Thank you so much for your love and bringing energy to the game.”

The 2011 World Cup champion also numbered a pair of assists and scored a goal in The Women’s Cup final against FC Bayern Munich.

“Yuki and her agent approached us saying she wanted to return to Chicago for personal reasons,” said James O’Connor, Racing’s interim president. “Obviously after the impact Yuki made here, we are sad to see her go but understanding of the situation.

“We thank the Red Stars for their help and professionalism in this deal. Yuki obviously goes with our very best wishes, and we thank her for all her contributions here in Louisville.”

Louisville has been active this offseason, signing Kristen Davis out of Texas Tech and acquiring star forward Jessica McDonald from North Carolina. With the No. 2 pick in the NWSL Draft, the club also selected standout midfielder Jaelin Howell, who recently won the Mac Hermann trophy for the second-straight year.

In her prior stint with the Red Stars, Nagasato made 58 appearances, scoring 13 goals and adding 18 assists.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Yuki back to Chicago,” said Rade Tanaskovic, Acting Head Coach of the Red Stars. “We believe her veteran experience will help our incoming young players and push our team towards our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to the city of Chicago.”