Natasha Kai (born May 22, 1983, Hawaii) is an American soccer player and member of the United States women's national soccer team. Kai is one of the most famous female athletes from Hawaii, where she starred at the University of Hawaii and was the Conference Player of the Year three times. Presently she plays forward where she is noteworthy for adding a burst of energy to the team when she enters as a substitute for offense.
National Team Edit
Natasha started her first training camp with the full United States Women's National Soccer Team in February of 2006. She made her full Women’s National Team debut at the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal, scoring in her first two games against Denmark and France, as a substitute. She became just the fourth player in U.S. WNT history to score in her first two caps. Scored four goals in her first seven WNT matches, including the winner in a 1-0 victory over Japan on May 9, 2006. Became the first-ever player from Hawaii to play for the full Women’s National Team and to make a Women’s World Cup Team. 2007: Played in seven games heading into the final pre-Women’s World Cup match, starting in four, and has two assists and one goal, that in a 2-0 win over China at the Four Nations Tournament giving the USA the tournament title. Was one of the final three players chosen to the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team. 2006: Played in 17 games in her first year on the National Team, starting four. Scored six goals, including two at the 2006 Algarve Cup. She also scored against Japan, Ireland, Canada and Australia. Her goal against the Matildas came in a 2-0 win at the Peace Cup in South Korea. Youth National Teams: First brought in with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team in 2004, and was the leading scorer in the team with 12 goals, including six in international matches. Helped lead the U-21s to the Nordic Cup title in Iceland, scoring three goals in the tournament including two against Germany. Injured her shoulder in her final college game of 2004, then re-injured it again in her first U-21 camp of 2005, necessitating surgery, and did not get called into an U-21 camp until January of 2006.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Kai scored the winning goal in overtime to lead the U.S. past Canada in the quarterfinal round.
Kai is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino and Caucasian heritage.
At 5 years old, she accidentally stepped on a glass bottle and the tendons in her foot were severely hurt. Doctors were afraid she might never be able to run again, but she fully recovered from the injury.
She is also known for her distinctive tattoos. She has 60+ tattoos two being "Sleeve tattoos" on her left and right arms. She has tattoos on both legs, arms, feet, and hands, and on her back, chest, sides, and the front, side, and back of her neck. Along with the tattoos, she also has two lower lip piercings.
She was featured on an episode of the hit show "LA Ink" and had a large spread in ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue."
Kai has openly discussed the fact that she is lesbian, and was one of only three openly gay individuals on the 2008 USA Summer Olympic Team. During an interview with NBCOlympics.com, Kai was quoted as saying the following:
It was a hard time... I had missed the first camp (under new head coach Pia Sundhage) in early-January because I had bronchitis, and I was going through a nasty break-up with my girlfriend. Then (Coach Sundhage) told me my job was on the line.
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