COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 14: Kosuke Kimura #27 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball as Luis Gil #21 of the Real Salt Lake pursues at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 14, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Kosuke was a huge fan favorite among Colorado Rapids circles not necessarily because of his brilliant play on the field but because he's just such a fantastic guy. He is a big fan of helping his community and loves interacting with fans. I recall one time he showed up at a bar to watch a Barcalona v. Real Madrid match with a bunch of fans, and it was great fun to watch him screaming at the TV whenever Barca did something. Fans also love his fire, he loves to compete and just loves to play the game.
As for his play on the field, he should do pretty well under Spencer's system which from what I can tell is a lot less finesse-intensive than Oscar Pareja's. Kimura did very well under Gary Smith because Smith only asked him to do the things you would expect a classic attacking fullback to do -- take the ball up the field, make an overlapping run or two and make sharp crosses into the box. When it comes to doing that, he's very solid and even occasionally sneaks a goal out himself in some of those situations.
That's the reason he did so well under Gary Smith but faltered under Pareja's new system. Pareja required players to roam the field and make lots of short, finesse passes which Kimura never seemed to get the hang of all the way.
Kimura's a classic 'hustle' guy, but the best example of a hustle guy that I've ever seen. He will run all day and all night without getting tired, he never seems to be injured and his motor never slows. His speed and never say die attitude hide the slight deficiencies in talent that he has. Defense is where his biggest flaws lie, but he's not going to lose games with defensive flubs. He tends to get outclassed on occasion by guys faster or more technically gifted than he is, but that's a rare occasion. (The example of that which comes to mind first his the Vancouver game earlier in the year where he was shredded by Darren Mattocks.)
Let me just say I'm very happy that he went to the Timbers, I'll definitely be rooting for him and you guys when you take on Salt Lake. You guys are going to love him.