‘Marcelo’ Ouma, Gonzalez in maiden Stars call-ups
Gor Mahia’s 19 year-old Erick Ouma- popularly known as Marcelo- and Spain-based Ismail Gonzalez are some of the new faces in the 29-man Harambee Stars squad set to pitch camp from Monday to prepare for two friendlies and the dead-rubber 2017 AFCON qualifier against Congo early next month.
Head coach, Stanley Okumbi, has entrusted the Kakamega High alumnus who has so far earned five straight starts at the expense of Rwandan import Abouba Sibomana at the domestic league champions will have Bugaria based Aboud Omar to compete for a starting berth in the right-back position.
Gonzales, who is 21, started his career in the junior ranks in Spanish La Liga side CD Las Palmas and his Kenyan father, Said Ali Athuman left Mombasa in 1989 to seek greener pastures in the Canary Islands where he married and begot the player on February 1, 1995.
Australian-based Brian Kamau of A-League side, Melbourne Victory was not included in the team despite Football Kenya Federation (FKF) sounding him out to declare his senior international career with the rising winger, 21, said to be pondering his next move with the Socceroos also interested.
Second-tier Kariobangi Sharks midfielder, Ovella Ochieng, who caused controversy when he was picked for the last AFCON qualifiers against Gabon will vie for a place but there is no place for his teammate, Patillah Omotto.
After his team stormed to the top of the National Super League over the weekend, striker Masita Bitolwa Masuta of Nzoia FC is the only other second division player in the squad.
Naming the squad, the Stars first coach Okumbi has also included goalkeepers Boniface Oluoch from Gor Mahia, Lucas Indeche who plays for AFC Leopards and David Okello of Tusker FC with regular starter, Norway based Arnold Origi missing out with a first call up for the Brewers custodian.
Slavia Sofia defender Aboud Omar who plays in Bulgaria got the nod in defence alongside Gor captain Mayeko Musa Mohamed, Brian Mandela Onyango of Maritzburg United (South Africa) and Zambia’s Zesco United’s David Owino among others.
Johanna Omolo and Anthony Akumu were included in midfield while Michael Olunga who plays for Djurgaden Sweden will vie for a place in attack alongside Kenyan Premier League top scorer; Muhoroni Youth’s Wyclife Ochomo who is in line for a first cap.
The team will report to the camp at Nairobi’s Utalii hotel.
Before the Congo match Stars will play against Sudan on May 27 then two days later will take over Tanzania in an international match to be staged in Nairobi.
After helping Southampton seal a Europa League place this season in the English Premier League, Victor Wanyama will continue leading the side.
Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia),
Lucas Indeche, (AFC Leopards),
David Okello (Tusker)
Aboud Omar (Slavia Sofia-Bulgaria),
Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia),
Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United-SA),
David Owino (Zesco United-Zambia),
Joakins Otieno (Posta Rangers),
Collins Shivachi (Tusker),
Eric Ouma (Gor Mahia),
Duncan Otewa (Bandari),
Ismail Said Athuman Gonzalez (Las Palmas-Spain)
Johanna Omolo (Royal Antwerp-Belgium),
Joseph Mbugi (Posta Rangers), Antony Akumu (Zesco-Zambia),
Victor Mugubi Wanyama (Southampton-England),
Eric Johanna (Mathare United),
Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia),
Humphrey Mieno (Tusker),
John Mark Makwata (Ulinzi),
Clifford Miheso (AFC Leopards),
Paul Were (AEL Kallonis-Greece),
Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK-Belgium),
Ali Abondo (Ajax Cape Town-SA),
Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks)
Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni),
Michael Olunga (Djurgaden-Sweden),
Jesse Jackson Were (Zesco-Zambia)
Masita Bitolwa Masuta (Nzoia)
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