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Mariga, Gonzales back at Harambee Stars

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Mariga’s last appearance for the national team was under Bob Williamson in 2015 for an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Zambia while Gonzalez returns to the fold since 2016 when he played during a friendly match against Sudan in Nairobi.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9- Harambee Stars interim-coach Stanley Okumbi has recalled midfielder MacDonald Mariga and utility player Ismail Gonzalez to the national team as he named the squad that will play two friendly matches in Morocco at the end of the month.

Mariga’s last appearance for the national team was under Bob Williamson in 2015 for an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Zambia while Gonzalez returns to the fold since 2016 when he played during a friendly match against Sudan in Nairobi.

Mariga is back competitively playing after years of struggle with a knee injury and he has been a constant member of Spanish second tier side Real Oviedo.

Harambee Stars defender Joshua Lelan (Centre) warms up with team mates Ismail Gonzalez (left) and Aboud Omar (right) when he made his debut in a friendly match against Uganda on August 30 at the Namboole Stadium in Kampala.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Gonzalez has equally found playing time after moving to the third tier of Spanish football turning out for CF Fuenlabrada.

Winger Paul Were who recently moved to FC Kaisar in the Kazakhstan top tier has also earned a recall as well as Belgium based Johannah Omollo.

-Oluoch ignored-

Boniface Oluoch training. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

At the same time, there is no place for Gor Mahia shot stopper Boniface Oluoch in the team with youngsters John Oyemba (named SJAK goalkeeper of the year of 2017) and Farouk Shikhalo have been called up to deputize Patrick Matasi.

Save for Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava, the entire defense line is made up of foreign based players.

Current Kenyan premier league top scorer Eric Kapaito has also earned his first ever call up to the national team.

Kapito, contributed all goals for Kariobangi Sharks last weekend, scoring thrice and assistant one as Sharks beat Wazito FC 4-1.

Kenya is scheduled to play Comoros and the Central African Republic on March 22 and 27 respectively in Marakech. The team will report to camp, in Morocco on March 19, 2018.

Paul Were celebrating in apast match with Harambee Stars.PHOTO/courtesy

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers

Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks), Faruk Shikalo (Bandari)

Defenders

Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United, South Africa), David Ochieng, (IF Brommapojkarna, Sweden), David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Abud Omar (Slava Sofia, Bulgaria)

Midfielders

Patilah Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Samuel Onyango (Gor Mahia), Athuman Ismael Gonzales (CF Fuenlabrada, Spain), Anthony Akumu (Zesco, Zambia), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), McDonald Mariga (Real Oviedo, Spain), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium), Paul Were (FC Kaisar, Kazakhstan), Eric Johana Omondi (IF Brommapojkarna, Sweden)

Forwards

Ayub Timbe (Heilongjiang FC, China), Cliffton Miheso (Buildcon FC, Zambia), Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks), Jesse Were (Zesco FC, Zambia), Michael Olunga (Girona FC, Spain).

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