Latest Soccer NewsMzansi Footballers Abroad

Ex-Stellenbosch star Makhanya opens up on MLS difficulties

Ex-Stellenbosch FC star Olwethu Makhanya has spoken about the challenges he has faced since making the move to MLS in the USA.

Makhanya made a surprise move from Stellenbosch to the Philadelphia Union in July 2023 after the conclusion of the 2022/23 PSL campaign.

The defender enjoyed a fruitful season with Stellenbosch FC, who performed admirably. The Cape Town club secured a respectable sixth-place finish in the league and reached the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

Notably, Makhanya’s individual talent was recognised at the PSL Awards, where he earned the title of Nedbank Cup Most Promising Young Player of the Tournament last campaign.

The 19-year-old was a key player at Stellies as he made 24 appearances in all competitions but only helped the team to keep five clean sheets.

Makhanya says moving to MLS to take on a new opportunity was a big transition. Despite the challenges, he is positive and confident that with time and dedication, he’ll find his footing and thrive in MLS.


Olwethu Makhanya during Philadelphia Union match in the MLS
Olwethu Makhanya during Philadelphia Union match in the MLS

“My biggest adjustment has been trying to adapt to the style of play. The team’s style of play is totally different from the team I was playing in,” said Makhanya.

“I’ve been trying to adapt to the environment, culture and everything, that has been challenging. But I think it’s just a matter of time until I get it the way it should be done.

“The season I had with Stellenbosch FC prepared me very well because we had a good season, and I had a lot of good games. I think that built the confidence and since I was leaving.”

Makhanya’s goal for the season is simple as he wants to learn and gather all the necessary information that will make him a better player for his new club.

“Honestly, my goal for this season is to try to learn as much as I can from the older players who are guiding me right now so I can be able to contribute to the team’s success. So when my time comes I should be able to do the job the right way,” he added.

Philadelphia’s season opener will be a home tie on Sunday, 25 February against Chicago Fire at Subaru Park.

RELATED STORY: Another PSL rising star secures MLS move

Back to top button