New Ground: Marshall Munetsi Moving to US League


Johannesburg - Marshall Munetsi could make a lucrative move from Orlando Pirates to Major League Soccer in the United States.

The 22-year-old defensive midfielder likened to Yaya Touré has transformed himself into one of prized assets in Supa Diski with some commanding performances.

Munetsi, a regular with the Warriors, having caught the eye of coach Sunday Chidzambwa during a tournament in Zambia, with the gaffer saying he is the biggest find in local football in the past few years.

Reports suggest agents representing Munetsi could have sealed a deal for the utility player to move to the United States in August this year.

Questions will inevitably be asked about the wisdom of such a move, given the MLS is not regarded as highly competitive as the top leagues in Europe, where the best footballers ply their trade.

However, a few months ago, English Premiership side Newcastle United broke their transfer record when they signed Paraguay forward Miguel Almiron for US$26 million from MLS champions Atlanta United.

The deal broke the then-record fee of US$19.5 million which the Magpies had splashed on former England striker Michael Owen to lure him from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Marshall Munetsi 

The transfer, the biggest ever completed in the MLS, put the top-flight league in the United States into sharp focus, amid signs the game has been developing in that country.

According to the reports, Columbus Crew technical director, Pat Onstad, was here in South Africa at the weekend to seal the deal to take Munetsi to the United States.

Onstad is said to have met with Munetsi’s agents and also watched the Soweto Derby which ended in a 1-1 draw between Pirates and Chiefs on Saturday at the FNB Stadium.

MSport Management, who are said to represent Munetsi, then posted a tweet which suggested a deal had been reached for the Zimbabwean to move to Columbus Crew.

“The lucky one will be playing in the MLS soon,” read the tweet. The tweet was later deleted but not before it had been re-tweeted by delirious fans of Columbus Crew, a club based in Columbus, Ohio, and were champions in 2008.

Tinashe Nengomasha, one of those who blazed a trail by becoming the pioneer Warriors to play at the AFCON finals, in Tunisia 15 years ago, believes Zimbabwe have a gem of a footballer in Munetsi.

“He has impressed me a lot, his consistency for a player of his age, his confidence is amazing and he really believes he can play against anyone,” said Nengomasha.

“I think we are seeing the emergence of a genuinely talented Zimbabwean football star, maybe the face of this emerging crop of good players we are seeing in our country. Munetsi  was born on June 22, 1996. He was signed by South African National First Division side F.C. Cape Town in July 2015. 

Big‚ strong‚ mobile and a good passer of the ball." He made his professional debut on 26 September 2015 during a 3-1 loss to Black Leopards, and scored his first goal in a derby match against Milano United on 16 April 2016, where it ended up being the winning goal in a 1-0 game.

He attended trials with the Orlando Pirates, a team in the Premier Division, in December 2015.

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