NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – Spain based midfielder Ismael Gonzalez has been recalled to the national football team Harambee Stars as the newly appointed head coach Engin Firat named a 34-man provisional squad ahead of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Mali.
Harambee Stars play Mali away in Morocco on October 7 before traveling back for the home match on October 10 and this will be the first assignment for coach Firat who was appointed on a two-month contract, replacing Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee.
Kenya is currently second on the standings on two points, two behind leaders Mali and level on points with Uganda.
Gonzalez alongside South Africa based Ovella Ochieng, goalkeeper Faruk Shikhalo who plays in Tanzania as well as defender Joash Onyango of Simba FC were recalled to the squad.
Gonzalez is expected to fill in the big shoes left by decorated Victor Wanyama who hanged up his international boots after 14-years in stint.
Notable omission from the squad is the midfielder duo of Johanna Omollo and Eric Johana while little known Philip Mayaka, who plays for Colorado Rapids, USA and Keagan Ndemi of Bandari FC have been handed debuts.
Richard Odada, who made his first senior start in the opening match of the campaign against Uganda, is also selected.
Local-based players are expected to report camp on Thursday, September 30 in Nairobi whilst foreign-based players led by skipper Michael Olunga will link up with the team based on their league commitments over the weekend.
Ian Otieno (Zesco, Zambia), Faruk Shikhalo (KMC, Tanzania), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Brian Bwire (Tusker)
Joseph Stanley Okumu (KAA Gent, Belgium), Joash Onyango (Simba, Tanzania), David Odhiambo (Napsa, Zambia), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks), Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Eugene Asike (Tusker), Frank Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Daniel Sakari (Tusker), David Owino (KCB), Abud Omar (AEL Larisa, Greece), Eric Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Bolton Omwenga (Kagera Sugar, Tanzania)
Richard Odada (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka), Patila Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks), Ismael Gonzalez (Real Murcia, Spain), Kenneth Muguna (Azam, Tanzania), Duke Abuya (Nkana, Zambia), Keagan Ndemi (Bandari), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker), Regean Otieno (KCB), Erick Zakayo (Tusker), Ovella Ochieng (Marumo Gallants, South Africa), Philip Mayaka (Colorado Rapids, USA), Musa Masika (Wazito), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari)
Michael Olunga (Al-Duhail, Qatar), Henry Meja (Tusker, Kenya), Sydney Lokale (Kariobangi Sharks), Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks)