HOW ACQUIRED: Rights traded from Vancouver on Februrary 26, 2014. Re-signed with club on December 22, 2016.
A technical creative midfielder who came into MLS as a pure attacking midfielder. Since then has added more grit to his game playing in more of a box to box role and continues to be a dead ball specialist.
OUTSIDE MLS: Began his career in 2001 with Japan’s Tokyo Verdy, where he played for five seasons (2001-2005) appeared in 135 matches for Tokyo Verde, scoring 10 goals. Kobayashi moved to Omiya Ardija of Japan’s J-League and stayed with the club for three seasons (2006-2008) where he made 55 appearances and scored nine goals. Spent the 2009 season with Stabaek Fotball of the Norwegian Tippeligaen, where he helped the Norwegian side finish third in league standings after which he spent 18 months (2010-11) with Greek Football League side Iraklis FC and appeared in 18 matches before returning to J-League side Shimizu S-Pulse.
INTERNATIONAL: Has one cap with the Japan National Team, which came in Tokyo in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago. Helped lead Japan to the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.