Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com
By KEVIN KOCZWARA
Midfielder Daigo Kobayashi becomes the latest Vancouver Whitecaps player to join the New England Revolution from the Canadian club in the last two years, joining Lee Nguyen and Brad Knighton in Foxborough.
The Revolution announced Wednesday night during their preseason game against the Chicago Fire, which they won 1-0, in Tucson that the club acquired Kobayashi’s rights in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. The 31-year-old Japanese midfielder signed a new contract with Major League Soccer and will be added to the Revs’ roster after his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and U.S. P-1 Visa are received.
“Daigo is a technically-gifted player who fits into our system well,” said Revolution general manager Michael Burns in a statement. “He assimilated well with our club when he was in Tucson with us, and we are looking forward to his return to the club soon.”
It was revealed on Twitter last week that Kobayashi was part of the Revolution team playing Real Salt Lake in a preseason game. He was listed as “Player X” on New England’s team sheet, but his identity was revealed during the game by accident.
Kobayashi played in 30 games for Vancouver last year, scoring two goals and adding four assists for the Whitecaps. He played primarily as a central midfielder, but did spend time playing as a wide midfielder as well. Last year was the only year he has played in MLS.
Prior to playing for the Whitecaps last year, Kobayashi played in Japan’s J-League, Norway’s Tippeligaen, and Greece’s Super League. He has made more than 160 professional appearances, scored 21 goals and added 14 assists over his career. He’s played in both UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifying.
Kobayashi has one cap with Japan, which came on Aug. 9, 2006 in Tokyo. He is also a former member of Japan’s Under-18 squad, and in 2003, helped lead Japan to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Youth Championship.
New England has made a habit in the last two years of acquiring players from Vancouver. Kobayashi is the second player the teams have swapped this offseason. New England acquired Knighton on Dec. 11.
Previously, the Revolution acquired Nguyen after he was waived by the Whitecaps in March 2012.
What do you think of the Revolution acquiring Kobayashi? Wishing Vancouver would have gotten more in return? Think he will thrive in New England?
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