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HomeTransfer CentreExclusive: Makhanya Explains Why He Chose MLS Over Downs

Exclusive: Makhanya Explains Why He Chose MLS Over Downs

Former Stellenbosch FC defender Olwethu Makhanya has revealed why he opted to move to Major League Soccer side Philadelphia Union over joining Mamelodi Sundowns.

On Tuesday, the MLS side unveiled Makhanya as new signing, confirming he penned a deal until 2025, with an option until 2027.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born player was promoted to the Stellies first team at the beginning of last season, and made 20 appearances in the DStv Premiership, scoring one goal.

He also played four Nedbank Cup matches and went on to win the tournament’s Most Promising Player award.

He was also linked with South African champions Sundowns in this current transfer window, and confirmed talks but admitted he felt going to the US was a better option.  

“Yes we were in talk with Downs too, I was also excited about joining them but we felt moving to the USA would be a better move,” Makhanya told iDiski Times exclusively after his move was announced.

“The goal is to play in the English Premier League one day and looking at the number of players that went from the MLS to the EPL it’s nothing compared to the PSL.

“That’s the whole motive behind the move to the MLS. The MLS is closer to the goal and I believe I have enough time to adapt that side and develop moving forward.”

The left-sided centre back is second signing of the club, following the acquiring of Brandan Craig from Austin in the MSL, while Gino Portella was promoted from the club’s development.

Makhanya follows the likes of Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota United), Njabulo Blom (St. Louis City) and Tsiki Ntsabeleng (FC Dallas) as South African player in the MLS, while Mamelodi Sundowns are also “in talks” with a MLS club believed to be Toronto over Cassius Mailula.

Story by Lethabo Kganyago (@KganyagoLee).

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.