Banyana Banyana star Linda Motlhalo has embarked on a new chapter in her career, finding a new home after a successful stint with Glasgow City FC in Scotland.
Motlhalo, known for her dynamic midfield play and potent attacking threat, has moved on to a new challenge in the USA, eager to continue showcasing her skills on a different stage.
The 25-year-old has returned to the National Women’s Soccer League [NWSL], penning a deal with her compatriot Themba Kgatlana’s former club.
Motlhalo has put pen to paper on a two-year contract “through the 2025 campaign with a mutual option for 2026” with Racing Louisville in the USA women’s top-flight.
Racing Louisville announced Motlhalo’s arrival on Wednesday, revealing that they paid an undisclosed transfer fee to acquire the services of the Banyana attacker.
Motlhalo moves to Racing Louisville after a year at Glasgow City in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. In Scotland, she scored four goals and provided seven assists in 32 matches.
The SA midfielder also featured for the Scottish giants in the 2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League, starting in each of the club’s four games as they reached round two of the qualification tournament.
Motlhalo says she’s excited about the new challenge
“South African star Linda Motlhalo is coming back to the NWSL. She’ll join Racing Louisville ahead of the upcoming 2024 campaign,” reads the club statement.
“Motlhalo, who first played in the NWSL with the Houston Dash in 2018, has 20 goals in 72 appearances for the South Africa national team, first breaking through with the senior team as a 17-year-old.
“She has played in two FIFA Women’s World Cups, including this past summer and the 2016 Summer Olympics, in addition to winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2022.
“At the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Motlhalo scored once in four starts, helping South Africa reach the knockout stage for the first time in the nation’s history. Motlhalo was also integral in Banyana Banyana’s run to its 2022 African championship, with two goals in six appearances.”
Motlhalo, who also had stints at Swedish club Djugårdens IF and Beijing BG Phoenix in China, stated that she is excited to be returning to the USA.
With sincere words, the attacker expressed her deep gratitude to Racing Louisville’s leadership for recognising her abilities and believing in her.
“I am very excited for the new journey and new challenge that I am about to embark on,” said Motlhalo.
“To be playing in the NWSL for Racing Louisville FC is an honour, and I will give absolutely everything I have to help this team win. I am grateful for the opportunity, and I am looking forward to the season.”