July 20, 2024

Stellenbosch’s Olwethu Makhanya Joins American Club Philadelphia Union

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Makhanya, who is a Diski Challenge graduate for Stellies, rose through the club’s ranks.

FILE PHOTO: Stellenbosch FC youngster, Olwethu Makhanya in action in the DStv Premiership League. PICTURE: Getty Images

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CAPE TOWN: Makhanya’s consistent campaign in the DSTV Premiership, making 24 appearances for the club across all competitions in the 2022/23 season.

Olwethu Makhanya has completed a move to a Major League Soccer (MLS) side, Philadelphia Union, on a deal that would see the former Stellenbosch defender at the club until 2025, with a further two-year option.

According to Philadelphia Union, the 19-year-old, who is the Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player of the Tournament, has been acquired through an MLS Under-22 Initiative and he is the first player to be signed under the Initiative.

“We’re excited to have signed Olwethu as the club’s first Under-22 initiative signing. In a short amount of time he rose from a second-team player at his club to earning the defensive rookie of the year in the DSTV Premiership,” said Philadelphia Union. The idea behind this initiative is to increase opportunities for young players in the United States of America (USA) and around the world.

Stellenbosch FC has described Makhanya’s move as a proud moment for the club and hopes that this has inspired other youngsters who would like to follow in his footsteps by using opportunities available to them. Makhanya, who is a Diski Challenge graduate for Stellies, rose through the club’s ranks.

Following his promotion to the senior team, he had a consistent campaign in the DSTV Premiership, making 24 appearances for the club across all competitions in the 2022/23 season.

In North America, the defender will join a growing list of South African players who are plying their trade there, such as Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who plays for Minnesota United Football Club; Njabulo Blom, who plays for ST. Louis City SC); and Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana, who plays for Racing Louisville. Incidentally, Mamelodi Sundowns striker Cassius Mailula is on the brink of joining an undisclosed MLS club.

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