Nagasoto is an icon of women's football, particularly in the Asia region. The former Brisbane Roar marquee has also played for the likes of Chelsea, Wolfsburg and Frankfurt, and will now play for a Japanese men's team.

Nagasoto joins Hayabusa Eleven of the Kanagawa Prefecture League, with the contract revealing the 130-cap Japanese international will play for the team in a professional capacity.



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According to the NWSL and her current club, Chicago Red Stars, she'll play for the Kanagawa club on loan and return for the start of next season.

Nagasoto is one of very few women to ever join men's teams, but it's part of a controversial emerging trend across women's football internationally.

The Dutch football system have even launched a pilot program to explore whether women and men can play in football leagues together, with 19-year-old Dutch footballer Ellen Fokkema given the green light to play for VV Foaraut in the ninth tier.

Canadian and NWSL goalkeeper, Stephanie Labbe, also signed for a men's team in 2018 but was stopped from playing due to regulations. 

In Australia, the history of men's and women's integration is far more chequered, at least recently. A huge number of current Matildas grew up playing alongside boys, including in organised youth competitions, and credit it with leading them to professional stardom.

However it has also drawn sour notes, particularly in 2016 when the scoreline from a Matildas training ground friendly match against a Newcastle Jets' youth team drew negative press reaction from around the world.


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