If you were paying close attention to the last two AFC Cleveland matches, you may have noticed a new face among the boys in blue.
Mayfield’s Kotaro Umeda is the latest local standout to join the defending NPSL National Champions and has already made substitute appearances this past weekend against Dayton Dynamo and Erie Commodores FC.
Umeda is an attack-minded midfielder who was highly sought after by some of the country’s top college programs. The newest Royal committed to Lousiville University after finishing high school with the United States Soccer Developmental Academy for Internationals Academy.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Umeda spent his first two years of high school with the Mayfield High School Wildcats, where he started varsity as a freshman and won the Most Valuable Midfielder award, scholar athlete, News Herald All-Star, and All-Conference award.
Upon finishing his playing career with Internationals, Umeda was named the #1 attacking midfielder in Ohio according to Top Drawer Soccer for the class of 2016, and the #4 overall recruit in Ohio according to College Soccer News. He was also designated a top-150 recruit in the country according to College Soccer News for the class of 2016.
Umeda looks forward to playing high-level soccer in his hometown with players he has become familiar with over the years.
“I’m excited to play for AFC Cleveland because of the opportunity I have to represent the city of Cleveland where I was raised and play in front of my family and friends that have helped me become who I am today,” said Umeda. “Being able to play alongside guys I’ve always looked up to is fascinating.”
Umeda will try to help the Royals win their first trophy of the season this weekend in the Steinbrecher Cup, hosted by AFC Cleveland at Stan Skoczen Stadium. Visitors can purchase passes for both days of the Steinbrecher Cup at afccleveland.com/tickets. Single-day passes are also available for each day of the tournament.
Photo Credit: Top Drawer Soccer