Houston Dash sign Japanese international Aya Sameshima

2011 World Cup-winning defender becomes first international signing for the Dash

The Houston Dash have acquired Japanese defender Aya “Same” Sameshima, the club announced today. Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sameshima (Full name pronounciation: eye-YA saw-may-SHEE-ma), 26, comes from Japanese club Vegalta Sendai in the Nadeshiko League. The Ustunomiya, Japan, native began her professional career with Tepco Mareeze of Yokohama in 2006 until the club’s disbandment in 2011. She moved to the United States to sign with the Boston Breakers (WPS) in 2011 before moving to French side Montpellier for the 2011-12 Divison 1 Féminine season.

"Sameshima is a world-class player who is gifted, very technical, and has great ability to get forward out of the back and into the attack,” said Dash head coach Randy Waldrum.  “She brings a wealth of international experience to our team. I am extremely excited about Same and what she will bring to the Dash.  She is very excited about joining our team and integrating herself into the Houston community.”

The veteran left back made her international debut in 2008 and has earned 52 caps for Nadeshiko Japan. Sameshima was part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Asian Games, and started all six matches as Japan won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. She also started five matches at the 2012 London Olympics as Japan earned the silver medal.

Aya Sameshima (eye-YA saw-may-SHEE-ma)
Position: Defender
International: Japan
Date of Birth: June 16, 1987
Birthplace: Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan
Height: 5’ 2”
Previous club: Vegalta Sendai (Japan)
How acquired: via signing on January 24, 2014