• Kyodo News


Japan midfielder Homare Sawa was selected in the first round of the Women’s Professional Soccer league’s draft, the new league announced on Wednesday.

Sawa, who was a member of the national squad when Japan placed fourth at the Beijing Olympics last month and plays for NTV Beleza, was chosen in the draft by the Washington Freedom, while midfielder Aya Miyama, striker Eriko Arakawa and striker Shinobu Ono were also chosen by different teams.

“I have a feeling that I would like to challenge once again but right now I am in the middle of league play, so I am focused on that,” Sawa said. “It depends on the conditions, but I can’t really say if I will go at this time.”

Miyama was picked in the second round by Los Angeles, while Bay Area selected Arakawa in the third round and Boston chose Ono in the fourth round.

WUSA, the former women’s professional soccer league in the United States, was forced to disband in 2003 due to financial difficulties.

The WPS, which comprises seven teams, will be allowed to sign up to five international players per roster. Play kicks off in April 2009.


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