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New England Revolution get Daigo Kobayashi from Vancouver Whitecaps, midfielder inks new deal

Daigo Kobayashi

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USA Today sports

The attack-heavy New England Revolution added another piece to their midfield on Wednesday with the acquisition of Daigo Kobayashi.

The Revs nabbed the former Japanese national teamer from the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Kobayashi also signed a new MLS contract with New England and will be formally added to the team’s roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and US P-1 Visa.

“Daigo is a technically gifted player who fits into our system well,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said 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.”

Kobayashi appeared in 30 games for Vancouver in 2013, his only previous MLS season. He scored two goals and added four assists for the Whitecaps, while playing a central creative midfield role, but became available when Vancouver declined his 2014 option last November.

The Revs have had the 31-year-old in preseason camp with permission from the 'Caps, who retained his MLS rights.

“Daigo is a good person and player but we just didn’t see a spot for him on the team moving forward,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a club statement. “We wish him the best of luck in New England.”

Before coming to MLS in 2013, Kobayashi spent 12 seasons between Japan’s J-League (Tokyo Verde 2005, Omiya Ardija 2006-08, Shimizu S-Pulse 2011-12), Norway’s Tippeligaen (Stabaek IF 2009) and Greece’s Super League (Iraklis Thessaloniki 2009-11). 

He has made more than 160 professional appearances, and has scored 21 goals while adding 14 assists. His European experience also includes matches in both UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifying.

Kobayashi has one cap with the Japanese national team, 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 (now FIFA Under-20 World Cup).