VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that the club has signed striker Masato Kudo to a multi-year contract following a free transfer from Japan’s J1 League side Kashiwa Reysol, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and medical exam. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
WATCH: Top 10 Kudo Goals
Masato Kudo – Whitecaps FC striker
- All-time leading goalscorer for J1 League club Kashiwa Reysol (92 goals, 260 appearances)
- Fourth most goals scored in the J1 League since 2012 (49)
- Won the 2011 J1 League championship with Kashiwa Reysol
- Scored the winning goal in the 2013 J. League Cup final
- Two goals in four senior international appearances for Japan
“Masato has a very good goalscoring record and we are always looking at adding to the group,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “He has a natural ability to find space in the box, which generates goalscoring opportunities. He is technically good with both feet and, as always required, he is a hard working player. Masato can play as a lone forward, or in a partnership, and is able to play wide when called upon. We are delighted to welcome him and his wife to our club and city.”
Kudo joins Whitecaps FC after playing his entire career at Kashiwa Reysol, which included six of his seven professional years in the J1 League, the top league in Japan. The 25-year old striker is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer with 92 goals in 260 total appearances.
"I am thrilled to join Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the new season,” added Kudo. "I am hoping to score as many goals as possible and help lead the team to victory. I am also really looking forward to playing in front of the great supporters at BC Place."
During his time with Kashiwa Reysol, Kudo helped the club win the 2011 J1 League championship, the 2012 Emperor’s Cup, 2012 Japanese Super Cup, and the 2013 J.League Cup. The 5-foot-10 striker played a big part in each cup run, including scoring winning goals in the J.League Cup final, and the Emperor’s Cup quarter-final and semifinal.
In international club competition, Kudo scored one goal in three appearances for Kashiwa Reysol as they finished fourth in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup. He also scored 10 goals in 27 appearances in the AFC Champions League, the premier club tournament in Asia.
The Tokyo native has four senior international caps for Japan, scoring a goal in his debut versus China in the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup, and against Guatemala in a friendly in September 2013. Kudo was previously selected to the Japan U-21 squad for the 2010 Asian Games, making three appearances for the Gold Medal-winning Japanese side.
Kudo will arrive in Vancouver and be formally introduced in the new year.
Weight: 165 pounds
Date of Birth: May 6, 1990 in Tokyo, Japan
Previous Club: Kashiwa Reysol (Japan’s J1 League)
How Acquired: Acquired via free transfer from Japan’s J1 League side Kashiwa Reysol on December 29, 2015
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