Gor Mahia’s talented forward, Benson Omalla, has finally secured his place in the national team, Harambee Stars, following persistent calls from the public. His inclusion comes as part of the 28-man squad announced by head coach Engin Firat on Friday, in preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Gabon and Seychelles later this month.
In previous interviews, Firat had explained his decision to overlook the red-hot Omalla despite his exceptional form. He emphasized the importance of players thoroughly understanding the expectations at the international level and urged them to do their homework.
Eric Johana has also received a call-up for the first time since Firat took over as head coach. Furthermore, three other players have earned their debut call-ups, signaling a fresh wave of talent in the squad.
Kenya finds itself in Group F for the qualifiers, alongside Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles. The squad boasts a mix of both local and foreign-based players. Newcomers in the squad include Orlando City’s Nabi Kibunguchy, Murang’a Seal’s Eric Balecho, and KCB’s Hanif Wesonga. Duncan Otieno from Gaborone United, Timothy Ouma from Elfsborg, and Johanna from UTA ARAD in Romania have also made their way back into the team.
Notably, Gor Mahia’s Geoffrey Ochieng, a standout performer in the Kenyan Premier League, has secured a spot in the squad.
Harambee Stars will commence their opening qualifier against Gabon on November 16 in Franceville, followed by a match against Seychelles on November 20 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Foreign-based players are expected to join the team on Friday, with the first training session scheduled for Saturday. The team will depart for Gabon on November 15.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi (Kenya Police), Ian Otieno (Zesco), Joseph Ochuka (Bandari)
Defenders: Nabi Kibunguchy (Orlando City), Hanif Wesonga (KCB), Abud Omar (Kenya Police), Daniel Sakari (Tusker), Geoffrey Ochieng (Gor Mahia), Daniel Anyembe (Viborg), Eric Ouma (AIK), Joseph Okumu (Reims), Johnstone Omurwa (CF Estrela), Amos Nondi (Ararat)
Midfielders: Duncan Otieno (Gaborone United), Teddy Akumu (Sagan Tosu), Duke Abuya (Singida), Ayub Masika (Nanjing City), Kenneth Muguna (Kenya Police), Eric Balecho (Murang’a Seal), Rooney Onyango (Gor Mahia), Eric Johanna (UTA ARAD), Richard Odada (Aalborg), Alfred Scriven (Hodd), Timothy Ouma (Elfsborg)
Forwards: Masud Juma (Al Faisaly), Michael Olunga (Al Duhail), Moses Shummah (Kakamega Homeboyz), Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia)