OFFICIAL: Union sign defender Olwethu Makhanya

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Earlier today, the Philadelphia Union officially announced that they have signed 19-year-old defender Olwethu Makhanya from Stellenbosch FC to a two-and-a-half-year contract. Makhanya’s contract will run through the 2025 season with a club option through 2027.

Olwethu will be the first Philadelphia player under the league’s U-22 initiative, so he will occupy one of those slots and also an international roster spot. Makhanya will officially be added to Philly’s roster following the reception of his International Transfer Certificate and his P1 Visa.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Who is Olwethu Makhanya?

The latest signing for Philadelphia is one that not many people may know now, but he definitely is one that Union fans should know in the future. Olwethu Makhanya is a defender who was signed by Stellenbosch FC in the South African Premier Division. During his time with the club, Olwethu appeared in 20 matches, while registering three clean sheets, and also scoring once. The 19-year-old has a ton of upside and can play both center back and right back, which will end up being important for the depth of the club. 

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Ernst Tanner on the Signing

Philadelphia Sporting Director Ernst Tanner has been known to bring in players from leagues that not a lot of people are familiar with, but these players tend to end up being successful for the club. Tanner will have the hope that his latest signing will do the same for Philly, as they look to continue to be one of the top teams in Major League Soccer.

Regarding the signing, Tanner had the following to say: 

“We’re excited to have signed Olwethu as the club’s first Under-22 Initiative signing. In a short amount of time, he rose from a second-team player at his club to earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year in the DStv Premiership. He’s an athletic, explosive player who is able to play center back in a back four line, as well as a back three. His instincts on the field fit our aggressive style of play and we look forward to welcoming him to the club.”

– Ersnt Tanner
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union