- The Washington Times - Friday, June 18, 2021

Washington Spirit midfielder Saori Takarada was named to the Japan women’s Olympic team on Friday morning, head coach Asako Takakura announced.

The Toyama, Japan, native will make her first appearance at the Summer Olympics, being held in Tokyo next month. She played with Japan in a friendly against Ukraine, playing 83 minutes and recording a goal on June 10.

Takarada was selected as the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot winner of the 2018 U-20 World Cup after recording five goals in six appearances representing Japan.

The U.S. Women’s Olympic team roster hasn’t been announced yet, but Spirit defender Kelley O’Hara is expected to make the team.

O’Hara played every minute at the 2012 Olympic games in London, where the U.S. won gold, as well as playing for the team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She most recently played in the 2019 World Cup, appearing in five of the team’s seven games en route to her second World Cup title.

Spirit defender Emily Sonnett also plays on the U.S. Women’s National Team, appearing in the 2019 World Cup. She was an alternate on the 2016 Rio Olympic team, but did not play in a game.

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