Hlongwane hits the ground running in MLS

Players Abroad

Bafana Bafana rising star Bongokuhle 'Saniza' Hlongwane has finally set off on his overseas dream in the MLS with Minnesota United.

Minnesota travel to Philadelphia Union for their Major League Soccer season opener on Saturday evening. 

Hlongwane featured in the friendly against Norwegian club Viking FC on Sunday at Providence Park as Minnesota came from behind following his delayed arrival.  

The 21-year-old faced a lengthy stay in South Africa since the completion of his move at the beginning of the year due to paperwork related matters.

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"I didn't bother looking too much into their players because the squad is bound to change. I saw they finished fifth last season and that gave me an idea about where they stand. I haven't watched any of their games from the past because some of their players are no longer with the club.

"They either released or sold some players so that means the game plan will change this season from the coach (Adrian Heath). I’m hoping to make a difference with the club and get to play as much football as possible," he told KICK OFF magazine in the latest edition currently on sale with Itumeleng Khune on the cover.

For Chiefs, Bobby Motaung made contact but didn’t press on with the club’s interest while Pirates were not persistent in their pursuit. 

Prior to his move, Hlongwane was on the wanted list of Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu.

Sundowns were at the forefront and pressed hard elevating their negotiations to club director Stanley Mabulu but it didn’t work out in the end just like AmaZulu who also raised their hands.

Hlongwane will have former SuperSport United defender Michael Boxall as teammate. 

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