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    PICTURE: Bongokuhle Hlongwane puts pen to paper on move to USA

    Minnesota United FC announced on Wednesday that they have signed Bafana Bafana international Bongokuhle Hlongwane from DStv Premiership side Maritzburg United.

    Hlongwane joins the MLS side on a three-year contract with an option for a further year.

    Hlongwane will be Minnesota United’s first U22 initiative signing and will join the “Loons” pending a physical and receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC.

    Additionally, he will occupy an international spot on Minnesota’s roster.

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

    The 21-year-old forward joins Minnesota United after spending his entire professional career to date with Maritzburg United in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Bongokuhle Hlongwane made his pro debut at age 18 and has eight goals and seven assists.

    Hlongwane was nominated for the South American Premier Division Player of the Season award for the 2020/21 season.

    Internationally, he made his national team debut in 2019 and has two goals in six appearances.

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    Hlongwane, who can play through the centre or on either wing, has eight goals and six assists in 56 appearances with Maritzburg United.

    Minnesota United finished fifth in the Western Conference last season, losing to MLS Cup finalists Portland Timbers in Round 1 of the MLS Cup playoffs.

    Bongokuhle Hlongwane stats and facts:

    Name: Bongokuhle Hlongwane Position: Forward Date of birth: 20, June 2000 Height: 6-footWeight: 75kg Last club: Maritzburg United Birthplace: South Africa Citizenship: South Africa

    © 2022, RD Mashaba. All rights reserved.

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