Photo courtesy of San Diego Zest FC
Former Japan Under-14 National Team midfielder Tomoyuki Nakayama will join San Diego Zest FC, pending league approval, for the 2017 Premier Development League regular season.
Born in Aichi, Prefecture, Nakayama was identified by Zest FC during a tryout at the Gloval Arena in Fukuoka, Japan, during December.
The 5-foot-9 midfielder had two offers to join teams competing in Japan's second division, as well as one offer from a Japanese third-division club.
Zest FC joined the PDL ahead of the 2016 season and went on to post an 8-1-5 record. Scoring 27 goals and only conceding 12 during the year, the club finished second in the Southwest Division and earned a PDL Playoffs berth. Matthew Hurlow-Paonessa was among the many talented players on Zest FC's roster in 2016, and in December, he signed a professional contract with the United Soccer League's Phoenix Rising FC.