Harambee Stars squad announced for friendly match against Russia
Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat unveiled a 22-man squad for the upcoming friendly match against Russia, with notable exclusions that raised eyebrows. Among those missing out once again was the impressive Gor Mahia striker, Benson Omala.
The squad is set to depart the country on Monday, October 9, for the eagerly anticipated friendly match scheduled for October 16 in Moscow.
The squad includes:
Brian Bwire, Bryine Omondi, Patrick Matasi
Joseph Okumu, Brian Mandela, Johnstone Omurwa, Collins Shichenje, Eric Ouma, Rooney Onyango, Daniel Sakari, Vincent Harper, Amos Nondi
Richard Odada, Anthony Akumu, Kenneth Muguna, Alpha Onyango, Ayub Timbe, Ovella Ochieng’ and Cliftone Miheso
Masoud Juma, Alfred Scriven, Moses Shumah and Michael Olunga
Despite his electrifying performances in the league, where he has left defenders in his wake, Omala found himself omitted from the national team yet again. The 21-year-old striker currently leads the goal-scoring charts with an impressive six goals.
Omala had recently displayed his prowess by netting a crucial brace in the 2-0 victory against AFC Leopards during the highly anticipated Mashemeji Derby held at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.
On a positive note, the national team welcomed new faces, with Gor Mahia defender Rooney Onyango and England-based sensation Vincent Harper of Exeter City earning their maiden call-ups.
Additionally, several players who had been absent from the national team fold made their return. Leopards winger Clifton Miheso, midfielder Ovella Ochieng’, and Tusker custodian Brian Bwire all secured spots in the squad following their prolonged absence from the national setup.
Miheso had missed recent friendlies against South Sudan, Qatar, Iran, and the Four Nations Tournament held in Mauritius in June, while Ovella had not featured for the national team in several years.
In the attacking department, Coach Firat opted for a blend of experience and new talent. The squad includes familiar faces such as Masoud Juma, captain Michael Olunga, Alfred Scriven, and Kakamega Homeboyz striker Moses Shumah.
However, it was not all good news, as Firat decided to exclude 53-year-old Daniel Anyembe from the Harambee Stars squad after the player had featured in the last three friendlies. In their most recent international fixtures, Kenya suffered a 1-0 defeat to South Sudan but managed to secure a 1-0 victory over Qatar during the last international break.