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Toronto Coach On First Mailula Goal, Explains Lack Of Game-Time

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman praised Bafana Bafana forward Cassius Mailula after scoring his first goal, and hailed his attitude despite the lack of game-time.

Mailula, 22, was on the scoresheet for Toronto, as they hammered Simcoe County Rovers 5-0 to advance to the next stage of the Canadian Championship Cup.

Herdman handed Mailula his first start since joining Toronto in July 2023. It took 30 minutes for the South African to score his first goal for the eight-time Canadian Championship Cup winners.

Herdman was pleased for Mailula and stated that his positive mindset and the continuation of working hard could see him making it into the team more regularly, but again reiterated he has some tough competition in his position.

“I’m really happy that he got his goal, he’s been really patient through the pre-season and the season,” Herdsman told the media.

“When there’s one game a week and you’ve players like Osario, Insigne, Bernardeschi that play at the top of the box in those forward areas, it’s very difficult for Cassie to get game-time and minutes.

“And again, he is a young player. I like his game from the league in South Africa where it’s a different style, the standard is very different and he is still trying to adapt to life here in MLS.

“Every week, he keeps his head down, he works hard, and he always has a positive outlook. I think players like that they build resilience through MLS.

“This season might not be his season, might be, but if he can keep doing what he is doing which staying focused he’s got a chance.”

Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco is one of South Africa's brightest up-and-coming football journalists. Makonco shot to prominence on social media as a reliable source for South African football news and transfer stories, and is currently working as a junior journalist at iDiski Times.