Thorns sign midfielder Sugita Hina

by John Rustik
Hina Sugita

The Portland Thorns have signed Hina Sugita to a three-year contract. On Wednesday, the Thorns twitter officially welcomed the Japanese midfielder to the Rose City. The Thorns signed her with allocation money. Pending her P-1 visa and International Transfer certificate, she will join the Thorns for the 2022 season.

Prior to the Thorns acquisition, Sugita played with INAC Kobe Leonessa. Over the seven years she spent with her previous club, she tallied ten goals in 57 appearances. She was included in the Best XI in 2019. In her time with INAC Kobe Leonessa, she helped to win the Empress Cup twice (2015, 2016) and finished in second in the Nadeshiko League Division I in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. This season, she has made nine appearances and scored one goal.

For her country, she has earned 27 caps and has scored two goals. She has represented Japan in various competitions including; the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup. In the 2016 tournament, she received the Golden Ball as the most valuable player.

At 24 years old, she will bring more quality and depth to the Thorns midfield.

“Hina is a playmaker with the ability to play across multiple positions,” Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson said. “She plays with bravery on the ball always looking for opportunities to be dangerous. She sees passes others do not see. Her on-field vision, creativity, and ball control are traits that allow her to find a way out of tight positions to break open opposing teams.”


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