Tampa Bay Rowdies Tsuyoshi Yoshitake Transfered to Yokohama FC Hong Kong
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Saturday that they have transfered Japanese forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake.
Yoshitake, who started his career with Yokohama, Japan, will be moving to the sister club Yokohama, FC Hong Kong of the Hong Kong First Division.
In a heartfelt statement, the soon-to-turn-31-year-old Yoshitake, who has spent the past 4 years playing in the U.S., said the move will allow him to be closer to his family.
“This was an extremely hard decision for me to make,” said Yoshitake. “I was torn apart, and if it was an offer from a different club, I would have turned it down. However, Yokohama FC is where I debuted professionally, and played for seven years before coming over to the US. And Yokohama FC Hong Kong is the first sister team in J. League history to start up in the Hong Kong League. I thought that now is my only chance to go back close to Japan, and also a great opportunity for me to demonstrate what I have gained in the United States. I expect that my performance will be a reflection of the Rowdies in that region.”
“I also hope to be given your understanding and support towards my decision, and both my family and I sincerely appreciate the Rowdies, fans, my friends, the community and my teammates for everything. I am going to miss you all, but look forward to hearing that the Rowdies won the Championship this season.”
Yoshitake played in 40 matches during his Tampa Bay career. He scored seven goals and totaled five assists during his two seasons there. He also played with Tokyo Verdy, Charleston Battery, Crystal Palace Baltimore and was loaned to the Austin Aztex late in the 2010 USSF D2 Pro League season.
Tampa coach Ricky Hill had kind words for the forward, who was named NASL Player of the Month in June.
“We are sad to see one of our members leave the club,” said Hill. “The club had an offer to sell Yoshi, and all parties accepted this special opportunity for a new experience in life for him and his family. We are definitely going to miss him, but I know we have a strong team with some excellent depth. We do wish him all the best. He has been a fantastic professional while he was here.”