Nairobi City Stars Japanese striker Kusaba mirrors Mitoma with goal and assist spectacle

© Yuto Kusaba Twitter

FOOTBALL Nairobi City Stars Japanese striker Kusaba mirrors Mitoma with goal and assist spectacle

Festus Chuma 16:00 - 30.08.2023

The Simba wa Nairobi striker remains optimistic about overcoming challenges in Kenya's football scene.

Japanese striker Yuto Kusaba, who has been compared to Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma, began his tenure at Nairobi City Stars with a stunning goal and an assist in their club-friendly match against the Nairobi County league side Kayole Youth, which was played on Thursday.

Drawing comparisons to Brighton's star player Mitoma, Kusaba showcased his prowess on Wednesday for Nairobi City Stars in an exhibition match against FKF Nairobi County league side Kayole Youth.

The 22-year-old striker left spectators in awe as he not only scored a stunning goal but also provided a well-executed assist in Simba wa Nairobi's 4-0 win, igniting hopes for an exciting future with the team.

Nairobi City Stars, gearing up for an upcoming friendly match against Bidco United, had pinned their hopes on Kusaba's official debut in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League.

Unfortunately, fans eager to witness his debut will have to wait a little longer due to unforeseen delays. 

The transfer process, integral to Kusaba's integration into the team, faced unexpected hurdles, leading to a potential postponement of his official league debut until after the first round of the season.

In a recent media interview, City Stars' CEO, Patrick Korir, shed light on the situation, attributing the delay to challenges in completing the transfer process on time.

 The young striker was initially slated to step onto the field on August 27, 2023, facing off against Muhoroni Youth FC at the Kasarani Annex Stadium.

 Regrettably, that day came and went without Kusaba's appearance on the pitch, leaving fans eager for his inaugural performance disappointed.

Amid these setbacks, Kusaba took to social media to express his enthusiasm for playing football in Kenya. 

He candidly addressed the challenges he has encountered, encompassing issues with contracts, visas, registration, and even financial matters. 

"I joined a professional team in Kenya, but one problem after another keeps coming my way (contract, visa, registration, funds, etc.) Playing soccer in Kenya as a foreigner is very challenging. However, with the spirit of 'Hakuna Matata,' I can definitely overcome anything," he stated.

Born in Osaka in 2001, the forward found his love for the sport at a tender age of 4, inspired by his older brother's footsteps. 

Despite enduring hardships that forced him to take a hiatus from the game, Kusaba's determination resurfaced during his university years.

 Focused and unwavering, he made the tough decision to leave behind several club activities to fully dedicate himself to becoming a professional football player.

The promising striker's journey took an intriguing turn as he ventured to Kenya, becoming associated with clubs like FC Eazy Akashi and FC Zenshin. 

It was with the latter, a Division 2 Northern Zone club based in Kenya, that Kusaba further honed his skills before embarking on a new chapter with Nairobi City Stars. 

Notably, FC Zenshin's previous season culminated with a 12th place finish, tallying 33 points in the FKF National Division 2 Northern Zone – Pool B.