Sporting Kansas City midfielder Lawrence Olum joined the Kenya Men’s National Team on Thursday for 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying. Kenya will play Comoros on May 18 and May 30 in an aggregate goal, home-and-away series.
“It's a great opportunity for me,” Olum said. “It shows that the success we've had as a club gets recognized in Africa and that's why they end up calling me for the team. Playing at home in front of my friends and family will be a good thing.”
Kenya, led by Adel Amrouche, will host Comoros at 8 a.m. CT on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi ahead of the decisive rematch on May 30. Kenya has participated in the Africa Cup of Nations on five occasions, most recently in 2004, and is currently No. 106 in the latest FIFA rankings.
“For Kenya, it's been a while since we've been to the African Cup of Nations. We're trying to make it this time so that's the main focus that we have as a team,” Olum said.
Olum, 29, has made 52 appearances in MLS competition (including playoffs) over four seasons with Sporting Kansas City since being acquired in 2011. The Missouri Baptist University product has also played professionally for the Portland Timbers, Minnesota Thunder, Austin Aztex and Orlando City SC.
Olum was first selected for the Kenya Men’s National Team in 2009 for the CECAFA Cup and again in 2010 for the Green Soccer Bowl Tournament and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Most recently, he joined Kenya in November 2012 ahead of the country's runner-up performance in the CECAFA Cup.