New Harambee Stars Coach Engin Firat at a press conference in Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

New Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has named his 34-man Harambee Stars squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Mali next month.
Simba SC’s defender Joash Onyango and Spain based Ismael Gonzalez, who were not part of the team that played in a 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Uganda and Rwanda respectively in the previous qualifiers, returned to the team.
Serbian-based midfielder Richard Odada – who made his debut against Uganda at Nyayo Stadium, has been maintained in the provisional team that also has Erick Kapaito, who finished the 2020/21 FKF Premier League season as the top scorer with 24 goals.
Others who have been recalled by Turkish coach Firat to the national team are Nkana midfielder Duke Abuya and Wazito defender Johnstone Omurwa.
Apart from recalling Onyango and Gonzalez, Firat who replaced Jacob Mulee this month has invited Ovella Ochieng who plays in South Africa, and goalkeeper Faruk Shikhalo who all last featured in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad.
Philip Mayaka (Colorado Rapids, USA), Keagan Ndemi (Bandari) and Erick Zakayo (Tusker) are some of the new faces in the team.
Harambee Stars play Mali away on October 6 before hosting the West Africans at Nyayo National Stadium on October 12 in the group matches which also consists of Uganda and Rwanda.
Local based players will enter camp today in Nairobi. Foreign-based players will link up with the team based on their league commitments over the weekend.
Kenya is currently second on the standings on two points, two behind leaders Mali, and level on points with Uganda.
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)


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