"A pure entertainer"
The pair played together for the J. League Division 1 side in 2006, and Davidson – known for clogging up the middle of the park – feels Kobayashi will bring an ability do exactly the opposite: finding gaps in opposing midfields and defenses to create more goalscoring opportunities for the ‘Caps.
“I’m excited, but everyone should be excited to see him play,” Davidson told reporters on Monday. “He can make the difference in the game. He can take free kicks, corner kicks, with great accuracy. He can assist, he can score goals. Just the way he plays, I’m sure everyone will love him, how he plays. He’s a pure entertainer and probably the most technical guy in the league.”
If Davidson’s assessment of his former teammate still holds true more than a half-decade later, he could be a useful addition for a Vancouver team that struggled to create opportunities in 2012, qualifying as the lowest scoring team for the 2012 MLS Cup playoffs.
WATCH: 'Caps president on Kobayashi signing
Kobayashi’s ability to keep possession could also prove important given Vancouver’s struggles in that department last season, when they regularly allowed the opposition to keep more of the ball.
“He could definitely control the game,” Davidson said. “Hopefully through this [preseason] camp, everyone can get to know him and he fits in the team right away.”
The 29-year-old has played the majority of his career in Japan, but has had two stints abroad – the most successful in 2009, where he helped Norwegian side Stabæk to a third-place league finish, scoring eight goals in 29 matches.
The midfielder also played in Greece with Iraklis FC in 2010, where he played just 14 matches over an 18-month spell. Internationally, Kobayashi has a single cap for Japan from a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in 2006.
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.
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