Japan International Forward Yuya Kubo acquired as DP

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati have acquired Japan international forward Yuya Kubo (pronounced YOU-yuh KOO-boh) as a Designated Player via transfer from Belgian club KAA Gent.

Kubo, 26, will occupy an international roster spot and be added to FC Cincinnati’s 2020 MLS roster upon the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate when the Primary Transfer Window opens on Feb. 12.

The forward has made 303 career appearances, while scoring 86 goals and adding 23 assists in 10 professional seasons in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. Kubo has made 12 appearances, including six starts, while scoring three goals and adding two assists across all competitions in the current season.

Kubo comes to FC Cincinnati with 29 combined appearances in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches, having scored in qualifying rounds of both competitions.

“We are delighted to add a proven offensive player in the form of Yuya Kubo to our roster,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “We’ve made it a priority to bring impact players to Cincinnati and we believe Yuya’s versatility as an attacking player will be a great addition to our current group.”

“I’m excited to join an ambitious club in FC Cincinnati,” Kubo said. “This will be a great experience for me as I am looking for a new exciting chapter in my professional career.”

Kubo’s professional career began in 2011 when he signed for Japanese second-division side Kyoto Sanga. The forward made 69 appearances, including 44 starts, while scoring 21 goals and adding two assists across all competition in three seasons with the Ochihins. In his first professional season, Kubo and Kyoto Sanga advanced to the Emperor’s Cup final as the then 19-year-old tallied in all three of his appearances in the competition.

Following the conclusion of the 2013 J2 League season, Kubo joined Swiss perennial power BSC Young Boys. In four seasons with Young Boys, Kubo made 137 appearances, including 78 starts, while scoring 39 goals and adding 15 assists across all competitions. Kubo played alongside FC Cincinnati midfielder Leonardo Bertone in all four seasons with the club, as well as Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martinez during the 2013-14 campaign.

After tallying double-digit goals across all competitions during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns, the forward moved to a new league during FIFA’s January transfer window when he joined Belgian first-division side KAA Gent. In his first 17 appearances with the club, the forward scored 11 goals and tallied two assists across all competitions.

In three seasons with the Belgian First Division A club, Kubo totaled 73 appearances, including 57 starts, scoring 25 goals and adding six assists across all competitions. Kubo spent the 2018-19 season on loan with Bundesliga side 1. FC Nürnberg, where he totaled 23 appearances across all competitions in his lone season in Germany.

At the international level, Kubo has made 13 appearances, scoring two goals and adding two assists for Japan since making his senior international debut in an international friendly against Oman on Nov. 11, 2016. The forward scored his first goal and also added his first assist for Japan in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the United Arab Emirates on March 23, 2017.

FC Cincinnati will return to the field for their second MLS season on Sunday, March 1, when the team opens the season in Harrison, N.J., against the New York Red Bulls. After a road game at Atlanta United FC on Saturday, March 7, FCC will open its 2020 home slate on Saturday, March 14, when the team hosts D.C. United at Nippert Stadium in a 5:30 p.m. game. Season Ticket Memberships are still available for purchase and start at $230 per ticket. A 2020 Season Ticket Membership also secures fans’ place on the club’s priority list, which will be utilized when sales begin in the new West End Stadium for the 2021 season. Information about all 2020 ticket options – season tickets, multiple-game options, group tickets and individual-game tickets – is available at or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.

Transaction: FC Cincinnati acquired forward Yuya Kubo as a Designated Player via transfer from KAA Gent on Jan. 9, 2020.


Pronunciation: YOU-yuh KOO-boh

Position: Forward

Height: 5-10

Weight: 160

Birthdate: December 24, 1993

Birthplace: Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Hometown: Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Last Club: KAA Gent (BEL)

Nationality: Japan

MLS Roster Status: Designated Player, International

Twitter: @kuboyuya31

How Acquired: Via transfer from KAA Gent on Jan. 9, 2020.