Kosuke Kimura holds the distinction of being the first Japanese player in Major League Soccer history. Kimura’s realization of wanting to play soccer for the rest of his life came at a very early age. To pursue this dream, he attended an open tryout with 800 competitors and was selected alongside two other competitors to join the Kawasaki Frontale youth program. Kimura’s determination and endless hard work paid off soon, when he was able to practice with the first team at the age of 15.
Although most Japanese professional soccer players join the J-League after high school, Kimura was forced to take a different path due to a foot injury, which was a huge setback for him. However, this did not stop him from pursuing his dream of playing professional soccer, and as a result, he boarded a plane to Western Illinois, U.S.A.
Kimura made a tremendous impact on the Western Illinois Soccer Team, bringing his team to the conference championship during three out of the four seasons he played. At the end of the three seasons, Kimura was named to the All-Mid-Con First Team and team MVP. Not surprisingly, after an outstanding collegiate career, Kimura signed with MLS’ Colorado Rapids where, due to his stellar play in 2008, Kimura established himself as a starting defender/midfielder for the 2009 season.