Despite being only 19 years old, Kembo Kibato’s soccer path has taken him from his home north of the border, briefly to Denmark, before landing him a short distance from the Mexican border with the RGVFC Toros in McAllen, Texas.
Growing up in downtown Toronto, Kibato played his club soccer for the North Toronto Nitros ahead of joining the Toronto FC Academy as a teenager. Kembo had the chance to feature alongside players like Nobel Okello, Jayden Nelson, Jacob Shaffelurg, and breakout MLS is Back tournament star, Ayo Akinola. He told BGN that he is happy to see his former teammates advancing their careers as professionals, just like he has.
He left TFC and joined Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League for the 2019/20 preseason. But, his first professional contract would take him far away from Canada. After an assist from his dad showing off a video of his skills got the wheels in motion, Kimbato departed the Great White North to join FC Helsingør in Denmark.
Kembo didn’t get a chance to play in first-team matches for the club, only playing in friendlies with the other players on the outside looking in. But, he values the time he spent in Denmark. “It was a good learning experience and helped me grow as a person and player,” he said. “Copenhagen was an amazing city with so much to do. I also had a friend who played with me at TFC who lived in the city who played for Bronby.”
While he didn’t register any match action in Denmark, he has played in four matches for RGVFC this season, averaging just over 38 passes per 90 minutes. “I enjoy it here,” Kibato explained. “I have amazing teammates and I think it’s a place I can continue to develop and get better.”
With the club playing on the road in back-to-back matches at OKC Energy FC and San Antonio FC over the past week, the club’s rookies had to perform their duties of singing in front of their teammates. In my opinion, Kibato’s selection was the best of the group as he rapped to “Jump” by Kriss Kross. “For those, you gotta pick a song everyone will sing along to or you know very well,” he said. “I used to play Just Dance with my sister when I was younger and that was my go-to song. So, I did that and the boys enjoyed it.”
Sitting at the bottom of the table in Group D, RGVFC’s midfield will need Kembo Kibato to kick the flavor that makes Toros fans want to jump. His next chance to impress will come as the Toros are back at home on Saturday as they face off with FC Tulsa.