|Full name||Natasha Kanani Janine Kai|
|Date of birth||May 22, 1983|
|Place of birth||Kahuku, Hawaii, United States|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|ASC San Diego|
|2002–2005||Hawaii Rainbow Wahine|
|2009–2010||Sky Blue FC||37||(11)|
|2016–2017||Sky Blue FC||21||(4)|
|2019–||LA Galaxy OC|
|2004–2006||United States U-21|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and 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 Early life
- 2 Playing career
- 2.1 Women's Professional Soccer league
- 2.2 National Women's Soccer League
- 2.3 United Women's Soccer
- 2.4 International
- 3 Rugby
- 4 Personal
- 5 References
- 6 External links
University of Hawaiʻi
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.
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. Kai's electrifying play on offense was key in Sky Blue FC's 2009 WPS championship season.
National Women's Soccer League
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. 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. 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. She played through the full season scoring 4 goals before getting surgery on her left ankle for a reoccurring injury on September 26, 2016.
United Women's Soccer
Los Angeles Galaxy OC
Kai joined LA Galaxy Orange County, a team in the United Women's Soccer league, in 2019. Her first appearance was on June 30, 2019. She scored a goal for the team in its 2019 UWS playoffs match against the Houston Aces on July 13, 2019.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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"
|Key (expand for notes on “international goals” and sorting)|
|Location||Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred|
Sorted by country name first, then by city name
|Lineup||Start – played entire match|
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time
|Goal in match||Goal of total goals by the player in the match|
Sorted by total goals followed by goal number
|#||NumberOfGoals.goalNumber scored by the player in the match (alternate notation to Goal in match)|
|Min||The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.|
|Assist/pass||The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.|
|penalty or pk||Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)|
|Score||The match score after the goal was scored.|
Sorted by goal difference, then by goal scored by the player's team
|Result||The final score.|
Sorted by goal difference in the match, then by goal difference in penalty-shoot-out if it is taken, followed by goal scored by the player's team in the match, then by goal scored in the penalty-shoot-out. For matches with identical final scores, match ending in extra-time without penalty-shoot-out is a tougher match, therefore precede matches that ended in regulation
|aet||The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation|
|pso||Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time|
|Light-purple background color – exhibition or closed door international friendly match|
|Light-yellow background color – match at an invitational tournament|
|Light-orange background color – Olympic women's football qualification match|
|Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament|
NOTE: some keys may not apply for a particular football player
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.
She is also known for her distinctive tattoos. She has 60+ tattoos 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.
Kai describes herself as being free-spirited and puts full pride in to her lesbianism.
- 2010 University of Hawai'i Soccer Media Guide, p.38
- "US Soccer Official Bio". Archived from the original on October 30, 2009.
- "WPS Allocation List". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- "All Eight Clubs Add Players to their Roster". nwslsoccer.com. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
- "Washington Spirit Select Six Players in Supplemental Draft". washingtonspirit.com. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
- "SKY BLUE FC SIGNS FORWARD TASHA KAI – National Women's Soccer League".
- "Sky Blue FC Signs Forward Tasha Kai".
- Sky Blue FC (September 26, 2016). "FORWARD TASHA KAI UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL LEFT ANKLE SURGERY". Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue FC. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "LA Galaxy Women's vs Houston Aces". July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- "LA Galaxy OC - 2019 Regular Season - Roster - # - Natasha Kai - F". Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- "WPS official Bio". Archived from the original on July 3, 2011.
- "US Soccer – Features, Events, Results – Team USA". Team USA.
- "US Soccer 2009 Official Lineups".
- "Retirement tweet".[dead link]
- "Pride of the Aloha state". ESPNFC.com.
- "U.S. women soccer players get plenty of ink for their accomplishments". latimes.
- "Outsports: American out Olympian in soccer". Archived from the original on September 13, 2011.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Second Half Goal from Natasha Kai Gives USA 1–0 Win vs. Japan". U.S.Soccer.
- "U.S. Women Dominate Ireland, 5–0, as Defender Cat Whitehill Scores Twice". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013.
- "U.S. WNT Finishes July Undefeated With 2–0 Win Against Canada". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
- "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.
- "U.S. Clinches Four Nations Title With 2–0 Win Against China". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
- "U.S. WNT Gets Win Over Mexico in Portland". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
- "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.
- "U.S. Women Capture 2008 Algarve Cup With 2–1 Victory Over Denmark". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Dramatic 91st Minute Game-Winner From Carli Lloyd". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "U.S. WNT Defeats Ireland, 1–0, As Kai Scores 23rd Career Goal". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
- "Kai's 90th-Minute Winner Puts U.S. Into 2009 Algarve Cup Final". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.