Racing Louisville might have said goodbye to Thembi Kgatlana but they have welcome another Banyana Banyana star, after the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side announced on that Linda Motlhalo would be joining the team, on Wednesday, 17 January, 2024.
The Banyana Banyana winger made the move from Glasgow City FC in Scotland to pen the new two-year deal, which includes an option to extend her stay for further year.
“I am very excited for the new journey and new challenge that I am about to embark on. To be playing in the NWSL for Racing Louisville FC is an honour, and I will give absolutely everything I have to help this team win. I am grateful for the opportunity, and I am looking forward to the season.”Linda Motlhalo on joining Racing Louisville FC in the USA
Speaking on the club’s website, General Manager Ryan Dell says Motlhalo will be a real asset to the team.
“Linda is a great addition to our club, both as a player and person,” said Dell.
“We are excited to sign a world-class talent who can create and score goals. She already has immense international experience at just 25, and her previous time in the NWSL will help her adjust quickly to our team. We’re looking forward to her joining the group and hitting the ground running.”Racing Louisville FC General Manager Ryan Dell
This won’t be Motlhalo’s first time playing in the USS, she was part of the league back in 2018, when she was at Houston Dash. She played alongside Kgatlana during her time at the club as a 19-year-old, where she made 21 appearances.
The forward has cemented herself as a reliable goalscorer in Desiree Ellis’ Banyana team, having netted 20 goals in 72 appearances for the national side. It is this scoring prowess that will hold her in good stead, as she builds on making her mark with this new team.
Motlhalo arrived at Racing Louisville with some good form, having helped Glasgow FC to their 16th league title, when she assisted in a match-winner against bitter rivals Rangers in the 2022/2023 season. She managed to bag four goals and seven assists in 32 appearances.
Motlhalo also gained more European experience late in 2023, she started in all four of the Scottish side’s Champions League matches, where they made it to Round Two of the competition.
It was her skill for Banyana that caught the eye of Racing. South Africa played two matches against the US Women’s National Team in September 2023, and it appears that what the Racing technical team saw from Motlhalo excited them.
“Her deception and creativity stood out early, and it was evident quickly that we wanted her to be a part of our squad,” Racing coach Bev Yanez said on www.racingloufc.com. “She is exciting to watch and dangerous on the ball, especially with her awareness of how to expose space quickly.”
The 25-year-old has quite the CV as she has also played for Swedish club Djugårdens IF, where she spent three years before joining Glasgow City. Before that, she spent a season at Beijing BG Phoenix in China in 2019.
She joins fellow African compatriot, Uchenna Kanu at Racing. The Nigerian famously scored in their victory against co-hosts Australia at the Women’s World Cup in July last year.
Photo caption: Racing Louisville might have said goodbye to Thembi Kgatlana but they have welcomed another Banyana Banyana star. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side announced on Wednesday, 17 January 2024 that Linda Motlhalo would be joining the team. She made the move from Glasgow City FC in Scotland and penned a two-year deal with an option to extend her stay for another year. Photo: Linda Motlhalo’s message to Racing Louisville FC fans on X