NJ/NY Gotham FC has extended the contract of Japanese international midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi through the 2023 season, and also signed goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff to a rookie contract for one season with an option for an additional year.
Kawasumi was first acquired prior to the 2019 season after finalizing a trade with OL Reign. She has since recorded one goal and four assists in 43 appearances for Gotham FC.
“Naho is as important to our club and any player we have,” said head coach Scott Parkinson.
“She’s the most professional player I’ve ever worked with and she sees the game at the highest level. We have a saying on the staff, ‘be like, Naho.’ Having Naho here for the long term is a very important signing for us.”
Internationally, Kawasumi has formed a vital part of Japan’s national team success. In 2011, she lifted the World Cup and won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Meanwhile, Clemson graduate Hensley Hancuff will also join Gotham ahead of the 2022 season. She was originally selected as the 34 overall pick of the 2022 NWSL Draft. The goalkeeper began her collegiate career at Villanova and boasted a combined 29-13-4 record with 10 shutouts.
“Hensley is a fierce competitor and wonderful human,” Parkinson said.
“She’s improved our club already in six weeks of being here. Seeing her grind and compete everyday with Ashlyn Harris and Michelle Betos has been a joy to watch. We feel we have special talent on our hands and are excited to see her blossom and develop into a top goalkeeper in our league.”
The team is set to kick off the NWSL Challenge Cup against the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, March 19 2022.