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Hlongwane leaves Maritzburg, in a 3-year deal with MLS outfit Minnesota

Football star, Hlongwane departs from Maritzburg after clinching a 3-year deal with MLS outfit Minnesota.

Maritzburg United has announced the departure of their star forward, Bongokuhle Hlongwane to Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Minnesota United. Hlongwane clinched a 3-year deal with a one-year club option. 24 reports that the football star will be the first U-22 initiative signing of the MLS club. He will join the Loons pending a medical and physical test, receipt of his P1 Visa and an ITC.

Maritzburg chairman, Farook Kadodia said in a statement that it was “a pleasure to witness Bongokuhle’s growth both as a player and as a young man since he was identified and recruited into the club’s youth structures four years ago,”. He further revealed that Hlongwane has “flourished into a world class striker and it’s credit to Bongokuhle that he has made the most of his opportunities and also to our coaches for helping him on his path”.

Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath shared his excitement at having the 21-year old on his team.

Heath said; “The one thing we’ve spoken about is getting someone with game-changing pace on this roster,”

“He has absolutely explosive pace, but he also looks to combine and build with his teammates. We love his raw talents, but his football IQ is exceptional.

“Ask any defender what scares them and who the hardest players to mark are and inevitably its someone with intelligent movement and pace and we feel he possesses both of these qualities.

“He’s got huge upside; he’s now broken into the South African national team and we’ve spoken to his national team coach and he says it’s only the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come.”

“He will be a work in progress for the club, but his physical attributes, his raw talent and football intelligence are impressive.

“We’re pleased to sign him, we know there was competition to get him and so we are pleased he’s a Loon.”

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