From trialist to triumph: Kenyan defender delighted after scoring brace in the US

© Orlando City B (Twitter)

STARS ABROAD From trialist to triumph: Kenyan defender delighted after scoring brace in the US

Imran Otieno 18:45 - 25.04.2023

The defender started out as a trialist for the club back in March.

Kenyan defender Nabi Kibunguchy achieved the rare feat of notching a brace as a center back which left him over the moon after his Orlando City B side drew 2-2 against New York City II in a Major Soccer League (MLS) Next Pro clash. 

The 25-year-old joined Orlando after a successful trial in late March before the American season kickstarted after being released by his previous side Minnesota United in December.

Kibunguchy has had an immediate impact at Orlando featuring every single minute of their season thus far and chipping in with a brace against New York City on Monday.

Speaking exclusively to Pulse Sports, Kibunguchy could not hide his delight after registering a brace which translated to two points after winning the penalty shoot-out following the 2-2 draw. 

“I'm very happy to score two goals as a defender that does not happen very often, I'm glad to help the team get two points since we won the shootout. 

It was a great opportunity for me, I was at the right place at the right time for the first goal, and for the second goal we ran set pieces the whole week with the coach and he drilled into me that I'll be open on the set pieces, it feels good and I hope I have many more this season,” said Kibunguchy.

Back in January 2021, Kibunguchy was selected 18th overall in MLS SuperDraft by Minnesota United but struggled to break into the first team and was shipped out on loan to the club’s reserve side Sacramento FC.

Kibunguchy revealed that he joined Orlando after successful trials having been a free agent since being released by Minnesota and added on what persuaded him to join the side. 

“Many people don't know that I came here on a trial hoping to get something but I imposed myself and the coaching staff saw that. I want to play an integral role and help the team with the trophy at the end of the year.

My agent brought this opportunity to me in early February I heard great things about the organization and how they do things and I felt that it would be a great step for me in my career," concluded Kibunguchy.

MLS Next Pro comprises 27 reserve sides of MLS clubs and is a league classified as part of the third tier of the United States soccer league.