Yuri Kawamura/ISI Photos

NC Courage sign Japanese defender Yuri Kawamura

The North Carolina Courage announced on Tuesday that the club has acquired Japanese international Yuri Kawamura for their inaugural season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

“Yuri is an intelligent, technical professional with a very pure understanding of the game,” said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “She is terrific in her position, and her experience at the top level is invaluable to our young core group. I love her composure on the ball, and I think she will adjust very well to the speed of play in the NWSL. She has a fabulous work ethic and will fit in seamlessly into our culture at the club.”

Kawamura, 27, has played with the Japanese national team since 2010. Since then, the defender has played in 32 games with 23 starts and two goals. The Niigata native was apart of the Japanese squad that placed second at the 2015 World Cup and she most recently competed with the national team at the Algarve Cup in March.

As for her club career: Kawamura previously played for the Albirex Niigata Ladies, Jef United Ichihara Chiba Ladies, Vegalta Sendai Ladies and Albriex Niigata Ladies.

[More from Excelle Sports: NC Football Club creates largest youth-to-professional soccer club in the U.S.]

The NC Courage will host the Portland Thorns for their season opener on April 22.

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