- HometownKahuku, Hawaii
Date of Birth: 5/22/1983
College: University of Hawaii
How Acquired: Free Agency (2016)
A native of Kahuku, Kai attended the University of Hawaii and was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Year on three occasions, the first person to ever receive that distinction. She completed her college career with 162 points on 72 goals in 73 matches. Her point and goal marks were second best in WAC history.
Upon finishing her collegiate career, Kai was called up to the senior U.S. Women’s National Team (U.S. WNT) after playing in the U-21 program over the previous two years. She made her debut in the 2006 Algarve Cup, scoring goals in each of her first two matches with the senior national team. She was just the fourth player in U.S. WNT history to accomplish that feat. She was also a member of the U.S. WNT in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, and she scored the game-winner in extra time of a quarterfinal match over Canada in the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. WNT then proceeded to win the Gold Medal in those Olympic Games. Over four years on the senior national team, Kai registered 24 goals and 13 assists in 67 matches. During that span, the U.S. WNT compiled a record of 57-1-9.
Kai, 33, started her professional club career with Sky Blue FC after being allocated to the New Jersey side in the 2009 U.S. WNT allocation for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). During that inaugural campaign, Kai tallied six goals and one assist during the regular season before scoring a goal in the quarterfinal round of the WPS Playoffs to help Sky Blue FC past the Washington Freedom. She also served up the game-winning assist a week later when Sky Blue FC defeated the Los Angeles Sol to win the 2009 WPS Championship.
In the 2010 season, Kai scored another five goals in 19 appearances for Sky Blue FC. She then competed for the Philadelphia Independence in 2011, recording 10 goals in 19 matches, which was just a single tally short of the league lead. Kai then notched another goal in the 2011 WPS Semifinals to help Philadelphia past magicJack SC. The Independence eventually fell to the Western New York Flash in the 2011 WPS Championship game on penalty kicks, Kai’s second championship match appearance in three years.
Since that final WPS season, Kai was away from the game until Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly lured her out of retirement prior to the 2016 NWSL season, which would be her first professional campaign in five years. On the season, Kai registered four goals and one assist, making 17 starts over 20 appearances.