New National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Bay FC has officially signed striker Racheal Kundananji from Madrid CFF. In the deal, the Zambia international has become the most expensive transfer in the history of women’s soccer. The San Jose-based club has paid the Spanish side about $787,600 to grab the forward.

Chelsea women’s team recently set the transfer record for a women’s player in January by signing Mayra Ramirez from Levante. The Blues bought the Colombian for around $482,000 with an additional $53,000 in potential add-ons. Nevertheless, Bay FC has now topped this record by some margin. Kundananji will now be under contract with the American club until 2027.

Racheal Kundananji forms a lethal partnership at Bay FC

Upon making the transfer official, Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton could not contain her excitement about the acquisition. “We are delighted to add Racheal to our group,” stated Rushton. “She is a tremendous talent with dynamic attacking qualities and an incredible physical profile who has produced for both club and country.”

“Racheal has a composure in front of goal and a natural ability to score with different types of finishes and from various locations. We believe she will continue to grow and develop at our club, showcasing her skillset and adding to the array of exciting attacking talent we have here.”

Kundananji has proven to be a prolific goalscorer during her time in Spain. With Madrid CFF and previously Eibar, the Zambian has netted 33 goals in 43 total Liga F matches. The forward is now expected to form a strong attacking partnership with fellow striker Asisat Oshoala. The Nigeria international only arrived at Bay FC a few weeks ago from Barcelona.

Nevertheless, Kundananji also claimed that she can play out wide. “For me, I can play any position as long as I’m given that task to play in that position,” Kundananji recently told ESPN. “For the national team, we have so many strikers and so few wingers who are strong, so that is why I play on the wing — but I’m a striker.”

Forward ‘fell in love’ with new club after initial talks

Multiple NWSL clubs have recently signed top players from different African nations. In fact, along with Oshoala, Bay FC previously brought in Ghanaian forward Princess Marfo. Kansas City Current also signed Malawi international Temwa Chawinga, while Racing Louisville grabbed South Africa’s Linda Motlhalo.

Kundananji certainly garnered plenty of attention following her successes in Spain. Despite having options, Bay FC immediately impressed Racheal Kundananji. “I don’t know how, I just fell in love with the team, and it just came as a surprise,” continued Kundananji. “There were so many teams that have come my way, but for this team, it was so different.”

“With what they were telling me, I started thinking: ‘I have to go there and play in the league.’ I’ve been told about the league so many times.”

Bay FC will kick off their inaugural NWSL season in March. The California club joins Utah Royals as debutantes in the top women’s league. The addition of the two teams will expand the total number of NWSL clubs to 14 for the upcoming campaign.