LOS ANGELES (December 20, 2021) - Angel City Football Club (ACFC) today announced the official signing of Japanese Women's National Team player Jun Endo to a two-year contract with an option to renew for the 2024 season. Endo, who plays for Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza in Japan's professional WE League, is a 21-year-old, internationally-acclaimed forward who will make her NWSL debut when ACFC takes the pitch in Spring 2022. In exchange, Beleza will receive an agreed-upon transfer fee, signaling ACFC’s commitment to building a club including players with international playing experience.
Endo will play her final game with Beleza in the first-ever Empress’s Cup of Japan's new women's professional league. The Empress Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in Japanese women’s football with more than a 40-year history. Beleza has won the competition 15 times, the most in Empress Cup history. Endo joins Angel City from a club with a winning history and pedigree and will participate for Beleza in the Empress Cup before joining Angel City in preparation for the inaugural season kicking off in April 2022.
"We are delighted to sign Jun Endo to Angel City FC," said ACFC Sporting Director Eni Aluko. "Jun is a highly technical, unique, and versatile forward who we have admired for some time. She joins us from Tokyo Beleza, who have developed some of the greatest players in Japanese women's football history.”
“Jun can play multiple positions, which is important at Angel City, and she plays with maturity beyond her years,” continues Aluko. “We are looking forward to witnessing Jun welcomed and supported by the Japanese community in Los Angeles, who we are excited to welcome to our home stadium to come out and cheer her on!"
“Hello LA! My name is Jun Endo, and I’m so excited to be a part of Angel City FC. After having experienced the highest level of soccer at the Tokyo Olympics, my goal has become to be a world class soccer player,” said Endo. “This is my first year playing abroad so I’m a little nervous, but I’m also so ambitious and thrilled that I can show my skills that can contribute to many victories for the club. Let’s make history together!”
Endo, a Shirakawa, Fukushima native, started professional play on the Japanese National Team at age 16 when she played in the 2016 U-17 World Cup. She also starred in the 2018 U-20 World Cup, where she played in all six matches, scored two goals, and won the U-20 World Cup championship.
Endo premiered in 2018 for the Nippon TV Tokyo Beleza team, part of the Division 1 Nadeshiko League. She led her team to win the Asia Football Confederation's Women's Club Championship in 2019. In February 2019, the Japanese Nation Team selected Endo to play in the SheBelieves Cup, her first time playing against the United States.
Endo will debut with the forthcoming Angel City roster under Head Coach Freya Coombe in Spring 2022 in Los Angeles at The Banc of California Stadium.
Today's news follows Angel City's roster-building milestones of the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft on December 16 and the 2022 NWSL Draft on December 18.