How Acquired: Acquired via trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Feb. 26, 2014, in exchange for New England’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft
2014: Appeared in all 34 of the Revs’ regular-season games after being acquired in a trade from Vancouver in late February. He started 23 times for the club, tallying four assists, including two game-winning assists. He picked up his first assist as a member of the Revolution against Houston on April 12, setting up Kevin Alston’s game-winning goal. He added assists against Toronto FC on May 3 and at Philadelphia on May 17 before collecting his fourth and final assist on August 23, setting up Lee Nguyen’s game-winning goal against Chivas USA. He made his Revolution debut in the season opener on March 8 against Houston and went on to play in every game, becoming the second Revolution player (along with Jose Goncalves in 2013) to appear for the Revs in every game of a 34-game regular season. Kobayashi also played in two of the Revs’ three U.S. Open Cup games while also playing in three of their five games in the MLS Cup Playoffs, including MLS Cup, when he came on in place of Scott Caldwell in the 58th minute. He assisted on Teal Bunbury’s goal in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Columbus at Gillette Stadium on November 9, just two minutes after coming on for the first postseason assist of his career.
2013: Signed with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Jan. 28, 2013 and started 21 of his 30 regular-season appearances. He scored two goals and added four assists in that time, with his first assist coming in his MLS debut on March 2 against Toronto FC when he set up Gershon Koffie’s game-winning goal. He scored his first goal for the Whitecaps a week later in a 2-1 home win over Columbus. He did not score again until September 7 when he opened the scoring in a 3-1 road loss to FC Dallas. Kobayashi added three assists in his final three games of the year, setting up a pair of Kekuta Manneh goals in a 4-1 road win over Seattle on October 9, and then adding another on October 19, setting up another goal for Manneh, this time in a 3-2 loss away to Colorado. He also played in two of Vancouver’s four games in the Amway Canadian Championship, scoring in the second leg of the final against Montreal Impact on May 29.
CLUB CAREER OUTSIDE OF MLS
Kobayashi began his professional career in 2001 with Tokyo Verdy of the J-League, where he played for five seasons (2001-2005), scoring 10 goals in 135 matches for the club. He moved to fellow J-League side Omiya Ardija in 2006 and spent three seasons (2006-2008) there, appearing in 55 games and scoring nine times. He moved to Europe in 2009, signing with Stabaek in the Norwegian Tippeligaen, where he scored eight goals in 29 matches and helped the Norwegian side finish third in league standings. After one season in Norway, Kobayashi moved to Greece, playing 15 times for Iraklis FC in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons, tallying three assists before returning to Japan to play for Shimizu S-Pulse in the J-League. He made 38 appearances for the club in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, scoring twice.
Was capped once by Japan, making his international debut on August 9, 2006 in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago in Tokyo. In 2003, he helped lead Japan to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Youth Championship (now FIFA Under-20 World Cup). Kobayashi is also a former member of Japan’s Under-18 squad.