Natasha Kai

Last updated

Tasha Kai
Personal information
Full nameNatasha Kanani Janine Kai
Date of birth (1983-05-22) May 22, 1983 (age 35)
Place of birth Kahuku, Hawaii, United States
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Forward
College career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2002–2005 Hawaii Rainbow Wahine
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2009–2010 Sky Blue FC 37 (11)
2011 Philadelphia Independence 17 (9)
2016–2017 Sky Blue FC 21 (4)
National team
2004–2006 United States U-21
2006–2009 United States 67 (24)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of August 19, 2011
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 21, 2009

Natasha "Tasha" Kanani Janine Kai (born May 22, 1983) is an American professional soccer forward and Olympic gold medalist. She previously played for Sky Blue FC and the Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer and National Women's Soccer League as well as the United States women's national soccer team. In 2011, Kai was also part of the first US women's rugby union sevens team to play in the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup held in Dubai. [1]

Contents

Early life

University of Hawaiʻi

Kai played for the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wahine from 2002–2005. She was named WAC player of the Year in 2002, 2003, and 2005, and was named a third-team All American in 2003. [2]

During Kai's standout career, she set multiple WAC records. She was named WAC Freshman of the Year in 2002, becoming the first soccer player to be named Freshman and Player of the Year in the same season. She also became the first player in WAC history to earn three Player of the Year awards and First-Team all-conference honors all four seasons. Kai owns the WAC career shots record (446) and is second in goals (72) and points (162). She finished her college career with 72 goals in 73 matches. [3]

Playing career

Women's Professional Soccer league

Sky Blue FC

On September 16, 2008 the initial WPS player allocation was conducted; Kai was allocated to Sky Blue FC with fellow US Women's National Team players Heather O'Reilly and Christie Rampone. [4] Kai's electrifying play on offense was key in Sky Blue FC's 2009 WPS championship season.

Philadelphia Independence

On December 21, 2010, Kai signed a deal to play with the Philadelphia Independence. On July 6 she scored a hat trick against her former team, Sky Blue FC.

National Women's Soccer League

Washington Spirit

In February 2013, Kai was selected during round four (25th overall) of the 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft for the inaugural season of National Women's Soccer League. [5] According to a press release of the Spirit, she was recovering from a knee injury, and was expected to begin play around the start of the 2013 NWSL season. [6] Kai never played for the Washington Spirit.

Sky Blue FC

On February 11, 2016 Sky Blue FC announced the signing of Kai for 2016 season. [7] [8] She played through the full season scoring 4 goals before getting surgery on her left ankle for a reoccurring injury on September 26, 2016. [9]

International

Youth team

Kai was first brought in with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team in 2004, and was the leading scorer in the team with 12 goals, including six in international matches. She helped lead the U-21s to the Nordic Cup title in Iceland, scoring three goals in the tournament including two against Germany. She injured her shoulder in her final college game of 2004, then re-injured it again in her first U-21 camp of 2005, necessitating surgery, and did not get called into an U-21 camp until January 2006. [3]

Senior team

Kai started her first training camp with the full United States Women's National Soccer Team in February 2006. She made her full Women’s National Team debut at the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal, [10] scoring in her first two games against Denmark and France, as a substitute. She became just the fourth player in U.S. WNT history to score in her first two caps. [11]

Kai scored four goals in her first seven WNT matches, including the winner in a 1–0 victory over Japan on May 9, 2006. She went on to become the first-ever player from Hawaii to play for the full Women’s National Team and to make a Women’s World Cup Team. She played in 17 games during her first year on the National Team, starting in four matches. She scored six goals, two of them in the 2006 Algarve Cup. She also scored against Japan, Ireland, Canada and Australia. Her goal against the Matildas came in a 2–0 win at the Peace Cup in South Korea. [3]

In 2007, Kai played in seven games heading into the final pre-Women’s World Cup match, starting in four. She had two assists and one goal that came in a 2–0 win over China at the Four Nations Tournament to give USA the tournament title. She was one of the final three players chosen to the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Kai scored the winning goal in overtime to lead the U.S. past Canada in the quarterfinal round.

Kai last played for the U.S. on March 11, 2009 against Sweden. [12] She has not been selected for national team duty since having major shoulder surgery in the fall of 2009. [3]

In September 2011 via Twitter, Kai said she would never play for the Women's National Team again, stating, "I will never play for the USWNT ever again so Id appreciate it if u stop asking & tweeting me about it. Its in the past & staying there thx" [13]

International goals
Date#LocationOpponentLineupMinAssist/passScoreResultCompetition
1
2006-03-11 [m 1] 1.1  Denmark

on 46' (off Lilly)

71unassisted

5550.05005 5–0

5550.05005 5–0

Algarve Cup
2
2006-03-13 [m 2] 1.1  France

on 73' (off O'Reilly)

76unassisted

5350.04005 4–1

5350.04005 4–1

Algarve Cup
3
2006-05-09 [m 3] 1.1  Japan

on 55' (off O'Reilly)

65 Kristine Lilly

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

Friendly
4
2006-07-23 [m 4] 1.1  Ireland

on 46' (off Welsh)

74 Aly Wagner

5450.04005 4–0

5550.05005 5–0

Friendly
5
2006-07-30 [m 5] 1.1  Canada

on 46' (off Welsh)

80unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Friendly
6
2006-10-31 [m 6] 1.1  Australia 35 Abby Wambach

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Peace Queen Cup
7
2007-01-30 [m 7] 1.1  China PR 56 Kate Markgraf

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Four Nations Tournament
8
2007-10-17 [m 8] 1.1  Mexico

on 68' (off Wagner)

82 Carli Lloyd

5350.03005 3–0

5450.04005 4–0

Friendly
9
2008-03-10 [m 9] 1.1  Norway

off 63' (on Rodriguez)

55unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5450.04005 4–0

Algarve Cup
10
2008-03-12 [m 10] 1.1  Denmark

off 81' (on Rodriguez)

14 Carli Lloyd

5150.02005 2–1

5150.02005 2–1

Algarve Cup
11
2008-04-06 [m 11] 2.1  Mexico

off 56' (on Rodriguez)

13 Heather O'Reilly

5150.01005 1–0

5250.03005 3–1

Olympic qualification
12
2.245unassisted

5250.03005 3–1

13
2008-04-09 [m 12] 2.1  Costa Rica 57 Tobin Heath

5150.01005 1–0

5350.03005 3–0

Olympic qualification
14
2.289 Angela Hucles

5350.03005 3–0

15
2008-04-27 [m 13] 1.1  Australia

off 45' (on Rodriguez)

35 Carli Lloyd

5150.01005 1–0

5150.03005 3–2

Friendly
16
2008-05-10 [m 14] 3.1  Canada

off 76' (on Rodriguez)

54 Carli Lloyd

5250.02005 2–0

5650.06005 6–0

Friendly
17
3.260 Shannon Boxx

5350.03005 3–0

18
3.375 Abby Wambach

5550.05005 5–0

19
2008-06-15 [m 15] 1.1  Australia

off 62' (on Cheney)

35 Heather O'Reilly

5150.01005 1–0

5150.02005 2–1

Peace Queen Cup
20
2008-07-16 [m 16] 1.1  Brazil

on 56' (off Tarpley)

85 Carli Lloyd

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

Friendly
21
2008-08-15 [m 17] 1.1  Canada

on 91' (off O'Reilly)

101 Shannon Boxx

5150.02005 2–1

5150.02005 2–1aet

Olympics: quarterfinal
22
2008-09-13 [m 18] 1.1  Ireland

off 60' (on White)

32 Heather O'Reilly

5150.01005 1–0

5250.02005 2–0

Friendly
23
2008-09-17 [m 19] 1.1  Ireland 72 Carli Lloyd

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

Friendly
24
2009-03-06 [m 20] 1.1  Iceland

on 68' (off Rodriguez)

90 Christie Rampone

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

Algarve Cup

Rugby

Kai was part of the US women's rugby union sevens team to the first IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup held in Dubai 2011. [1]

Personal

At five years old, Kai accidentally stepped on a glass bottle and the tendons in her foot were severely damaged. Doctors were afraid she might never be able to run again, but she fully recovered from the injury. [14]

She is also known for her distinctive tattoos. [14] She has 60+ tattoos [15] two being "Sleeve tattoos" on her left and right arms. She has tattoos on both legs, arms, feet, and hands, and on her back, chest, sides, and the front, side, and back of her neck. Along with the tattoos, she also has two lower lip piercings.

She was featured on an episode of the hit show LA Ink and had a large spread in ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue."

Kai has openly discussed the fact that she is lesbian, and was one of only three openly gay individuals on the 2008 USA Summer Olympic Team. During an interview with NBCOlympics.com, Kai was quoted as saying the following:

It was a hard time... I had missed the first camp under new head coach Pia Sundhage in early-January because I had bronchitis, and I was going through a nasty break-up with my girlfriend. Then Coach Sundhage told me my job was on the line. [16]

Kai describes herself as being free-spirited and puts full pride in to her lesbianism.

References

  1. 1 2 http://www.rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2707:usa-women-7s-prepare-for-dubai&catid=46:usa-sevens-women&Itemid=204
  2. 2010 University of Hawai'i Soccer Media Guide, p.38
  3. 1 2 3 4 "US Soccer Official Bio". Archived from the original on October 30, 2009.
  4. "WPS Allocation List". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  5. "All Eight Clubs Add Players to their Roster". nwslsoccer.com. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  6. "Washington Spirit Select Six Players in Supplemental Draft". washingtonspirit.com. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  7. "SKY BLUE FC SIGNS FORWARD TASHA KAI – National Women's Soccer League".
  8. "Sky Blue FC Signs Forward Tasha Kai".
  9. Sky Blue FC (September 26, 2016). "FORWARD TASHA KAI UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL LEFT ANKLE SURGERY". Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue FC. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  10. "WPS official Bio". Archived from the original on July 3, 2011.
  11. "US Soccer – Features, Events, Results – Team USA". Team USA.
  12. "US Soccer 2009 Official Lineups".
  13. "Retirement tweet".[ dead link ]
  14. 1 2 "Pride of the Aloha state". ESPNFC.com.
  15. "U.S. women soccer players get plenty of ink for their accomplishments". latimes.
  16. "Outsports: American out Olympian in soccer". Archived from the original on September 13, 2011.

Match reports

  1. "U.S. WNT Defeats Denmark, 5–0, in Second Group B Match of 2006 Algarve Cup". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013.
  2. "U.S. Women Clinch Berth in Algarve Cup Final with 4–1 Win vs. France". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013.
  3. "Second Half Goal from Natasha Kai Gives USA 1–0 Win vs. Japan". U.S.Soccer.
  4. "U.S. Women Dominate Ireland, 5–0, as Defender Cat Whitehill Scores Twice". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013.
  5. "U.S. WNT Finishes July Undefeated With 2–0 Win Against Canada". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
  6. "U.S. Women Scare Up 2–0 Halloween Win Over Australia at Peace Queen Cup". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012.
  7. "U.S. Clinches Four Nations Title With 2–0 Win Against China". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
  8. "U.S. WNT Gets Win Over Mexico in Portland". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
  9. "U.S. Women Roll Past Norway, 4–0, at 2008 Algarve Cup; WNT Advances to Sixth Straight Algarve Cup Final". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
  10. "U.S. Women Capture 2008 Algarve Cup With 2–1 Victory Over Denmark". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
  11. "U.S. Wins Group A, Downs Host Mexico 3–1 in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013.
  12. "U.S. Women's National Team Qualifies For 2008 Beijing Olympics With 3–0 Victory Over Costa Rica". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012.
  13. "Dramatic 91st Minute Game-Winner From Carli Lloyd". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015.
  14. "U.S. Women's National Team Dominates Canada 6–0 at RFK Stadium as Natasha Kai Scores First Career Hat Trick". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  15. "U.S. Women Open 2008 Peace Queen Cup With 2–1 Victory Over Australia". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013.
  16. "Kai Scores Late Header to Give U.S. Women 1–0 Win Over Brazil; Top Scorer Abby Wambach Breaks Leg and is Out of the Olympics". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on September 17, 2009.
  17. "U.S. WNT Defeats Canada, 2–1, On Overtime Goal From Natasha Kai to Earn Berth to Semifinal of Beijing Olympic Games". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  18. "U.S. Women Open Achieve Your Gold Tour With 2–0 Win Against Ireland in Philadelphia". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  19. "U.S. WNT Defeats Ireland, 1–0, As Kai Scores 23rd Career Goal". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  20. "Kai's 90th-Minute Winner Puts U.S. Into 2009 Algarve Cup Final". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.