Kimura - the pride of Japan.
Not only is the message to Kimura unique, but the people holding the sign are noteworthy as well - Kimura’s parents. They flew in Friday night from Kobe, Japan, to cheer their son in the MLS Cup final between Colorado and FC Dallas.
“I am really, really excited. I got to go see them last night.” Kimura said from Toronto. “It’s been about a year and half since I have seen them. I can’t believe that they are actually here.”
It has been a long, hard journey for Kimura. He came to America without knowing English, carrying the dream of attending college and going pro after graduation. In 2007, he was drafted by the Colorado Rapids.
His family’s belief in him, and his undying perseverance, gave him the strength to now become a steady performer in MLS.
“My brother is coming in tonight. It will be really good to see him,” the 26-year-old shared. “They are going to get to come and watch my game. That’s really exciting. That’s giving me extra energy to go forward in the game.”
It isn’t just his family that will be watching. The Japanese media will be featuring Kimura and his quest for the MLS Cup.
Kimura was the first player in MLS to be born in Japan. Sunday night, Japan will be cheering for Kimura to be the first Japanese player to win the MLS championship. Casual viewers back in his home country will be able to pick out the Japanese words in the audience.
“My family made me a huge sign,” Kimura explained. “They are going to bring it tomorrow night to the game. That means so much to me, to see them, and for them to come.”
The word on the sign his parents will be holding is translated “soul”.
This Japanese word holds a special meaning to Kimura. His family has flown across the world to tell the hard-working defender that he has become the pride of his country.
Keep updated with Major League Soccer throughout the playoffs by visiting Goal.com's MLS page and joining Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!