Philly Sports Live

Natasha Kai Headed to the Washington Spirit

Tasha Kai

Tasha Kai

During today’s NWSL Supplemental Draft, the Washington Spirit made a big pick up: veteran and former US national striker, Natasha Kai.  Kai was selected first in the fourth round and 25th overall during today’s draft.  Kai brings a big offensive boost to a more defensively built team.  During the initial player allocation from the USSF, Mexico and Canada, the Spirit were not actually allocated any forwards, so they had to rely heavily on the NWSL College Draft to craft their core of attackers.  The Hawaiian native will surely bring a veteran presence that will help back up rookie Tiffany McCarty, who was drafted out of Florida state.

Philadelphia fans will immediately recognize the name, as Kai played for the Philadelphia Independence during the final WPS season.  Kai is one of the most popular names in US Soccer, known for her 60+ tattoos and flair on the field.  During her time with the Independence, Kai scored a total of nine goals in 17 appearances.  Three of those nine goals came against her old team, Sky Blue FC, on July 9th 2011.  Kai’s Sky Blue tenure started with the conception of the WPS up until she signed with Philadelphia.  While there, she score 11 goals in 37 appearances, and was an integral part in their championship run in 2009.

Kai has stated that she will never play at the national level again, but was a force during her 67 caps with a total of 24 goals.  Perhaps her biggest feat, Kai scored the winning goal in an extra time game against Sweden during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, advancing them past the quarterfinal round.

At 29, Tasha Kai is a veteran for sure, but definitely should have a few good years left in her and immediately makes any teams she plays for that much better.  Stay tuned to the PSL Soccer Desk for more news on the Washington Spirit and all of your favorite NWSL teams.