Michael Ogada Olunga aka “Engineer” plays for Japan’s J2 League’s Kashiwa Reysol. Thanks to the man’s exploits this season, the team is slated for promotion to the country’s top league next season.

The 25-year-old Gen Zer and a Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium fan favorite recently put, not 1, not 2 or 3 or 4 goals past an opponent’s goalie. “Orunga” as the Japanese announcers call the Kenyan striker put gonde aboro i.e. 8 goals past the hapless and helpless Kyoto Sanga’s goalie Tomoya Wakahara. This was in a November 24th 13-1 drubbing the J League Division 2-leading Hitachi-owned Kashiwa handed the eighth-placed team from Kyoto.

Eight goals in one match!


WuodOlunga had his hat trick (that’s 3 goals in one match for you non-Football types out there – yes you know who you are – bae!!) in the first half! He kept on going till his eighth goal with the game into injury time!


Why would Reysol’s Coach Takahiro Shimotaira keep the man (and his starters) on the pitch with the game pretty much salted away thanks to a 4-1 half-time score – a scoreline that included “Engineer’s” hat trick?

Anyway, back to the former K’Ogalo striker, the man ended the just-concluded season with 27 goals – two behind Albirex Niigata’s Brazilian (what else??) striker Leonardo Nascimento Lopes De Souza 29 goals.

WuodAlice gi Joseph was five goals ahead of the third-placed goal scorer Hiroyo Gota’s twenty-two goals.

Watching some of Olunga’s matches, the man is good. Very good and his manager/agent is doing him a disservice by not pitching him to the top-tiered teams – in Europe and elsewhere.

Olunga is a blue chip physical specimen (I actually hate this tacitly racial/racist characterization but I couldn’t think of any other way to write about this attribute). At 6′ 3″ (1.9Mtrs), he towers above his mostly short and stocky Japanese/Asian opponents. This mismatch is readily apparent in some of the goals he scored during the past season. “Orunga” didn’t even have to jump to nod in the crosses into the goal area. He was that much taller.

Height without body control is a wasted “bressing” – just ask Lukaku circa Manchiesta Gidwanyore. Fortunately, Olunga has great body control and can stop/change direction on a dime – that is stop instantaneously/change direction in tight spaces for those ma ok on’geyo (don’t know) the expression “on a dime”. And unlike Lukaku, Olunga ok ngok ni i.e. he is not clumsy.

Aside from his height, the man has a left foot that is absolutely world-class. Some of his goals including one of his eight vs. Sanga were left-footed screamers that were also textbook strikes of a football.

Add to that is Ogada’s Football IQ i.e. game awareness that has allowed him to notch several assists including one cherry back heel to a streaking Cristiano da Silva (yeah I know, another Brazilian soccer player) for the team’s 11th (or was it 12th) goal?


And what a teammate! While most goal scorers celebrate on their own – pointing to their teammates – including the one who offered the assist leading to the goal as an afterthought, Olunga, in order, points up to the heavens then to his teammate/s: A full and unrequited acknowledgment and appreciation of his faith AND his teammates.

What’s that saying? There is no “I” in “T.E.A.M”?

To reiterate a point that is now more obvious than ever, Ogada Olunga is ready for the next move – onto the proverbial “next level”.

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