KENYA BROWN - Saturday, January 28, 2017
American forward Steven Lenhart will be playing soccer in the Far East as it was reported on Friday that the former San Jose Earthquake has signed for FC Imabari in the Japan Football League.
The 30-year-old, who spent six years with the Earthquakes, is joining a team that currently plays in the fourth tier of the Japanese leagues. The team is owned by former Japanese national team coach Takeshi Okada.
Lenhart started his professional career with the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer after being the 48th overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft. He would go on to make his debut for the team on May 31, 2008, as a substitute against Chivas USA. He scored his first goal on June 21, 2008, against Los Angeles Galaxy. Before moving out west he would win the 2008 MLS Cup along two Supporters' Shields with the Crew.
The California native was then traded to the Earthquakes on January 13, 2011. It would be the 2012 season where he prove to be a huge asset as he scored 10 goals to help San Jose capture the Supporter's Shield,
In nine seasons in MLS Lenhart had a total of 135 appearances, scoring 33 goals along with 12 assists.
The forward will be joining a team that has huge ambitions now that they are under the ownership of Okada. The team expects to make their way up to the country's J1 League within a few years time. In November last year, they won the Japanese regional league championship to earn promotion to the Japan Football League.