Kotaro Umeda, Bigger than Soccer (SwanoDown Report)

Reported by SwanoDown

The former Mayfield graduate, Kotaro Umeda, went on to play Division 1 soccer at the University of Louisville before going professional in Brazil. He became the first ever professional Asian Athlete for Joinville Esporte Clube in Santa Catarina, Brazil. However, his biggest achievement in his 23 years of life has been his actions off the field. In 2019, he published his book I’m With You, where he talked about his personal stories that have helped motivate many people all around the world. 

“If I can use this platform that God has given me to help others and speak for others, I will do so” said Umeda. 

All of the proceeds from the book will go to United Way of Cleveland to support poverty and racism in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. 

With the recent rise in hate crimes toward Asian Americans in the United States, Umeda has been the voice that the people need. 

“I am a proud Japanese American and I will continue to stand up for what is right because I know my value. If you know who you are, then you know who you are not” stated Umeda.

Kotaro is one of the best soccer players to come out of Ohio as the Mayfield native was one of the top players in the country for his class. However, he strives to change the world not only on the field but off the field as well. 

“I’m not sure what the future will be like, but I have faith in the path we are on. If you take away the mystery and everything was certain, there would be no existence of faith.” said Umeda


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