Sporting Kansas City acquired MLS veteran Paulo Nagamura in November 2011. He made 119 appearances for the club in all competitions, tallying seven goals and eight assists, and converted penalty kicks in the victorious finals of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, 2013 MLS Cup and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The Sao Paulo native began his soccer career with Sao Paulo FC and Arsenal before coming to the United States to play for the LA Galaxy in 2005, winning the MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in his first season. He’s also played for Toronto FC and Chivas USA in MLS, becoming an MLS All-Star in 2009 before going on loan to Tigres UANL in Mexico.
2016: Started 10 of 13 appearances in all competitions, recording one assist (862 minutes played). MLS regular season: Started six of nine appearances (526 minutes played), recording one assist. Made his 2016 debut as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC on May 15. Made his first start of the season in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on May 27. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 2-1 win at the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 24. Open Cup: Did not feature. CONCACAF Champions League: Started and played 67 minutes in a 2-2 draw at Central FC on Aug. 16. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-0 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 23. Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Vancouver on Sept. 13. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 89 minutes in a 1-0 knockout round loss at Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27.
2015: MLS regular season: Started 17 of 21 appearances and tallied three goals with one assist (1484 minutes played). Scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Chicago on May 3. Scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 87th and 94th minutes of a 4-3 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 15 as Sporting KC came from two goals behind after the 80th minute to complete one of the best comebacks in MLS history. It was Nagamura's first MLS brace since 2009, and the performance landed him an MLS Player of the Week award (Week 24), the first such honor of his career. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas on Sept. 18. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 120 minutes in Sporting KC's 7-6 penalty kick shootout loss at Portland after a 2-2 draw through regulation. Open Cup: Started two of three appearances. Played 28 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 6-2 fifth round win over FC Dallas on July 1. Started and played 89 minutes in a 3-1 semifinal win against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 12. Started and played 120 minutes in a championship win over the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 30 as Sporting KC prevailed 7-6 in penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in regulation. He converted his penalty kick in the shootout.
2014: MLS regular season: Had two goals and three assists in 21 games played, all starts. Assisted Dom Dwyer's game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Colorado on March 29. Scored his first goal of the season in a 3-0 win over Montreal on May 10. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on May 14. In a span of two minutes, scored a goal and assisted Dom Dwyer's 20th league goal in a 3-2 loss to New England on Sept. 26. MLS Playoffs: Played 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss at New York in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round (Oct. 30). CCL: Started both legs of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals vs. Cruz Azul, playing 90 minutes in the 1-0 first leg win on March 12. Started two matches (180 minutes) in the 2014-15 group stage. Open Cup: Played 84 minutes in a 3-1 fifth round loss to Portland on June 24. Came on as a stoppage-time substitute in the second half of a 3-1 quarterfinal win over the Houston Dynamo on July 21.
2013: MLS: Nagamura started 17 matches as a midfielder in 2013. He earned his first assist of the season during Sporting's 4-0 win over Chivas USA. Playoffs: Appeared in four matches during the MLS Cup Playoffs. Played 97 minutes in second leg of Eastern Conference Semifinal series, his first appearance in nearly two months for Sporting KC. Started and played 90 minutes in each of the Eastern Conference Championship matches vs. the Houston Dynamo. Played full-time and converted his penalty kick in the MLS Cup Final shootout vs. Real Salt Lake. CCL: Started and played 78 minutes in a 2-0 win at CD Olimpia on August 27. Open Cup: Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC on June 12.
2012: Nagamura appeared in 27 games for Sporting Kansas City during the 2012 regular season. Nagamura’s lone goal came as an equalizer in the 60th minute in Sporting KC’s 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on September 1 at Sporting Park (Video). Nagamura also notched the game-winning assist in the victory. Nagamura also scored the first and last goals in Sporting Kansas City’s run for the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Nagamura opened the scoring in the tournament on May 29 in the 47th minute, helping Sporting KC earn the 3-2 victory over Orlando City SC before converting the winning penalty kick during the shoot-out in which Sporting won the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on August 8th (Video).
2011: Nagamura joined Sporting Kansas City on November 29th in a trade with Chivas USA, after appearing in 11 matches during the 2011 MLS season.
2007-2010: After being taken by Toronto FC in the Expansion Draft and playing four matches for the club, Nagamura joined Chivas USA in May 2007 following a trade and became a key player in Chivas USA lineup, appearing in 88 matches and recording nine goals and eight assists from the midfield. He was named the team's Defender of the Year in 2008 and went on to become a 2009 MLS All-Star upon scoring four goals in his first 11 matches and was later loaned to Tigres UANL of the Mexican First Division for a six-month stint before returning to Chivas USA in July 2010.
2005-2006: Moved to the United States in 2005 and joined the LA Galaxy, where he won both the MLS Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in his first season. Appeared in 54 games for the Galaxy, tallying six assists in the two seasons.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL: In 2001, Nagamura joined Arsenal FC in England, where his Under-19 team won its league in 2002. Most recently was with Tigres UANL of the Mexican First Division where he played 14 matches for the club in the Bicentenario 2010 season.
YOUTH: In Brazil, Nagamura started his career with the youth sides of famed club São Paulo FC, where he played alongside Real Madrid midfielder Kaká. Also played for Arsenal FC’s youth sides in England.
PERSONAL: Family includes his parents, Jorge and Celia, his sister, Renata, and his wife, Monique. Favorite movie is City of God, and also enjoys the Shawshank Redemption. Watches 24 and Prison Break when they’re on TV. Listens to mostly Brazilian music. Enjoys watching all soccer teams, and also NBA games. Favorite memories from his soccer career includes his time in England with Arsenal, growing up playing for São Paulo FC, and winning MLS Cup 2005 with the Galaxy. Likes to listen to music to prepare for matches. Nickname is Paulinho.