Cassius Mailula prepares for his debut at US club Toronto FC

Former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Cassius Mailula has begun a new journey at Toronto FC in the US.

Mailula, who was spotted in training on Tuesday, could make his debut when Toronto welcome Montreal at the BMO Field Stadium for a league clash on Monday next week.

The 22-year-old made a shock move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) side recently after Sundowns confirmed he had attracted attention from the North American side.

Mailula had an impressive DStv Premiership breakthrough season. He scored 15 goals and had four assists in 31 games. He later walked away with Young Player of the Season award.

In an interview with TFC Republic recently, coach Jason Hernandez said the club is fortunate to have landed the signature of Mailula.

“Cassius was a guy we’d been monitoring for the winter window [in 2023], that we were potentially going to make a move for,” Hernandez said.

“At the time and for various reasons, we decided maybe not and that it wasn’t the right time to do it. We continued to monitor him over the second part of his season in South Africa.

“Obviously, he had a breakout season there. He was named the league’s young player of the year and he earned his first senior team cap.

“So, for us, the idea of getting a dynamic, versatile, young, hungry player – specifically with the U22 Initiative – made a lot of sense.

“We engaged his club and it was a lengthy negotiation, as he was a big part of their team, their plans and what they were doing. But we feel very fortunate about his addition.”

Mailula joins the likes of Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota United), Njabulo Blom (St Louis City), Tsiki Ntsabeleng (FC Dallas), and Olwethu Makhanya (Philadelphia Union) as the South African contingent in the MLS.


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