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Kealia Mae Ohai (/kˈələ/ kay-ə-LEE; born January 31, 1992) is an American soccer player who plays for the Houston Dash. She has had appearances with the United States women's national soccer team.[1] She scored the single winning goal in the final match of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup; the only goal Germany conceded in the entire tournament. After a breakthrough in the second half of the 2016 National Women's Soccer League season where she scored 11 goals in 10 games, Ohai earned her first call up for the United States Women's National Soccer Team.

Kealia Ohai
2014-07-26 KealiaOhai.JPG
Ohai in starting lineup for Houston Dash, July 2014
Personal information
Full name Kealia Mae Ohai
Date of birth (1992-01-31) January 31, 1992 (age 27)
Place of birth Draper, Utah, United States
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Playing position Midfielder / Forward
Club information
Current team
Houston Dash
Number 7
Youth career
2000–2010 Avalanche Soccer Club
2006–2010 Alta High School
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 North Carolina Tar Heels
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014– Houston Dash 92 (27)
National team
2010 United States U-17
2009–2012 United States U-20 24 (8)
2013 United States U-23 2 (0)
2016– United States 3 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of April 14, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 13, 2017


Early lifeEdit

Ohai was born to Ben and Cindy Ohai and raised in Draper, Utah. Her sister, Megan, is a former youth national team member who played soccer at USC where she won the 2007 NCAA championship.[2] Her father, who is Hawaiian, named her after Kealia Beach on the island of Kauai.[3]

Ohai, who graduated from Alta High School in June 2010, was a four-year varsity soccer player at the school.[4] She led the team to four straight state soccer championships from 2006-2009. She was a two-time Gatorade state player of the year, three-time first-team high school All-America, three-time All-State selection, three-time 5A soccer MVP, and the 2010 NSCAA National High School Player of the year.[4][5] In June 2010, she earned Parade All-American honors.[6]

As a youth, Ohai also played club soccer for the Utah Avalanche. With the team, she won four state titles.[7]



North Carolina Tar Heels, 2010–2013Edit

A four-year starter with the Tar Heels from 2010 to 2013, Ohai was a member of the 2012 championship-winning team.[8][9] She was named the tournament's most outstanding offensive player after scoring the game-winning goal during overtime in the semi-final[10][11] and the first goal of the final in the second minute of the match.[8][12]

Following her freshman year playing for the Tar Heels, Ohai was named to the First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and ACC All-Freshman Team. She led the team in scoring with 14 goals and started 22 of the team's 24 games.[7] During her sophomore year, she started in all 20 games in which she played. She scored six goals, including a team high of 3 game-winning goals and served six assists.[4][7] In her third year with the Tar Heels, Ohai led the team in points (23) and goals (9).[4]


Houston Dash, 2014–presentEdit

July 26, 2014; Julie Ertz and Kealia Ohai in Chicago Red Stars vs Houston Dash

Ohai was selected as the second overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft by the Houston Dash as the expansion team's very first college draft pick.[13][14] Of her draft selection, Dash head coach Randy Waldrum said, "I couldn't have asked for things to fall into place so well. It was an amazing day for the Dash. Starting with the selection of Kealia Ohai, we got one of the nation’s best forwards. She has great pace, is extremely athletic, and can really stretch defenses with her speed."[15]

She became the club's captain midway through the 2016 season, which coincided with a scoring streak which saw her net 11 goals in 10 games. Ohai was named NWSL Player of the Week for weeks 15 and 17.[16] She finished the season tied with Lynn Williams for the golden boot, Williams was given the award as she had more assists.[17] Ohai was named to the 2016 NWSL Best XI.[18]

In 2017, Ohai scored two goals in 10 games before tearing her ACL on June 24 in a game against the Orlando Pride. This injury would force her to miss the remainder of the 2017 season.[19]

Ohai returned to the field on April 22, 2018 against the Orlando Pride. In 2018 she appeared in 19 games and scored 5 goals.[20]


Ohai (7) with the U.S. team at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan, 2012.

A member of the U.S. youth national programs from the age of 13,[3] Ohai has played with the under-15, under-17, under-18, under-20, and the under-23 teams.[21][22] As a member of the 2012 US U-20 Women's National Team, she won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and scored the game-winning goal in the 44th minute of the final to lead the U.S. to victory over Germany.[23][24][25]

Ohai made her international debut for the senior team on October 23, 2016 against Switzerland in a friendly match in Minneapolis. She scored 48 seconds after entering the match as a substitute in the 81st minute, setting a record for the fastest goal in a US women's national team debut.[26]

Ohai received a call-up in July 2018 to the United States Women's National Team training camp for the 2018 Tournament of Nations, this marked her first call-up since injuring her knee in 2017. She did not make the final roster for the tournament.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Ohai's brother-in-law is the former NFL player Brian Cushing.[28][29] She is legally blind in her right eye.[30]

In October 2016, Ohai confirmed that she was in a relationship with football player J. J. Watt.[31][32] They became engaged in May 2019.[33]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "JJ Watt announces engagement to soccer player Kealia Ohai". Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Megan Ohai Profile". USC Trojans. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Pretty Name, Dynamic Game". US Soccer. August 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "Kealia Ohai Biography". University of North Carolina. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "High school sports: Kealia Ohai named national player of the year". Deseret News. June 16, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  6. ^ Oram, Bill (June 15, 2010). "Alta's Kealia Ohai named to Parade's All America team". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Kealia Ohai". United States Soccer Federation. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "UNC women win 21st soccer title". ESPN. Associated Press. December 6, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  9. ^ Hays, Graham (December 3, 2012). "WINNING 21ST TITLE NO EASY FEAT FOR N. CAROLINA". ESPN. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  10. ^ "Kealia Ohai scores at 5:53 of the second OT to lift North Carolina to 1-0 win over Stanford". Fox News. December 1, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "Ohai lifts North Carolina past Stanford in 2OT". Boston Herald. December 1, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "North Carolina wins 21st NCAA women's soccer crown". USA Today. Associated Press. December 3, 2012.
  13. ^ Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (January 17, 2014). "Dash get a dose of speed with UNC's Ohai". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  14. ^ "Tar Heels Dunn, Ohai go No. 1-2 in women's pro soccer draft". Herald Sun. January 17, 2014. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  15. ^ "Houston Dash select Kealia Ohai, Rafaelle Souza, Marissa Diggs and Jordan Jackson in 2014 NWSL College Draft". Houston Dynamo. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  16. ^ "Kealia Ohai voted NWSL Player of the Week". August 2, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  17. ^ "Here are the winners of the NWSL MVP and other awards". October 20, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  18. ^ "National Women's Soccer League Announces 2016 Best XI". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  19. ^ "Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai to miss the remainder of the season with left knee injury". June 26, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "Kealia Ohai". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  21. ^ "Kealia Ohai". US Soccer. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  22. ^ "2013 Statistics". US Soccer. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  23. ^ "U.S. Women Win U-20 World Cup". New York Times. September 8, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  24. ^ "FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012 - USA 1:0 (1:0) Germany - Report". FIFA. September 8, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "U.S. women beat Germany 1-0 to win U-20 World Cup". USA Today. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  26. ^ "Lloyd leads USA to 5-1 win vs. Switzerland on record-setting day in Minneapolis". US Soccer. October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  27. ^ "ELLIS CALLS 25 TO TRAINING CAMP AHEAD OF 2018 TOURNAMENT OF NATIONS". July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  28. ^ "Dash use No. 2 pick on Kealia Ohai, sister-in-law of Brian Cushing". Houston Chronicle. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  29. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (January 17, 2014). "Kealia Ohai lands in Houston, where family awaits". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  30. ^ Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (May 13, 2014). "Ohai's vision a nonissue with Dash". Houston Chronicle. Houston. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  31. ^ Thompson, Dana (October 28, 2016). "Houston Dash player Kealia Ohai confirms she's dating J.J. Watt". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  32. ^ "J.J. Watt sends love to Kealia Ohai ahead of return from ACL injury". April 23, 2018.
  33. ^ Duaine Hahn, Jason (May 26, 2019). "Houston Texans Star JJ Watt Is Engaged to Kealia Ohai: 'I'm the Luckiest Man in the World'". People. Retrieved May 26, 2019.

External linksEdit