NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima has signed a three-year contract with Belgian side Standard Liege.
The announcement on Kawashima’s transfer from current club Lierse SK was made late on Tuesday. Kawashima said the same day on his blog that he had signed with Standard Liege on July 12.
The 29-year-old Kawashima, who was Japan’s regular ‘keeper in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, moved from Kawasaki Frontale in the J. League top division to Belgium club Lierse after the World Cup.
Kawashima played the previous two seasons with Lierse where he was named captain, and was elected the team MVP by supporters for the second year in a row. He did not renew his contract after the 2011-12 season.
He previously hinted that he would transfer to Italy or England, with rumors indicating that AC Milan had expressed an interest in him.
Kawashima is the undisputed first choice in goal for Asian champion Japan, which next hosts Venezuela in a friendly at Sapporo Dome on Aug. 15.
Chelsea beats Sounders
Young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice and new signings Eden Hazard and Marko Marin also found the net as Chelsea opened its American tour with a 4-2 win over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.
Lukaku muscled his way to a goal in the third minute then scored his second goal in the final minute of the first half of Chelsea’s first game since lifting the European Champions League trophy in May.
Seattle’s Fredy Montero scored a pair of goals in the first half, but the Sounders missed a number of good scoring chances early and had few opportunities in the second half in front of 53,000 fans.