South African top-flight side Stellenbosch have announced that they have reached an agreement for the transfer of 19-year-old defender Olwethu Makhanya to American Major League Soccer club Philadelphia Union.
The deal represents a historic landmark for Stellenbosch FC as Makhanya becomes the club’s first export to the United States of America.
“As a club, we are incredibly proud to see Olwethu join Philadelphia Union and have no doubt that he will make a huge success of his time abroad,” Stellenbosch FC CEO Rob Benadie was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.
“Stellenbosch FC has made a commitment to providing opportunities for young players to showcase their talent and towards creating a clear pathway for them to build successful careers as professional footballers.
“To see a young player like Olwethu use that platform to earn a transfer to one of the most competitive leagues in the world is a source of great pride for the club, and we hope it will serve as inspiration for others looking to follow in his footsteps.”
Makhanya completes the move on the back of a successful domestic season in which he graduated from the SFC Diski Reserve Team to become the club’s youngest-ever DStv Premiership goalscorer, before later winning the Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player of the Tournament award.
He made 24 appearances for the club across all competitions in total and was also called up to represent South Africa at U-23 level during last year’s CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo Brazzaville.
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