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Chances of him attracting European clubs playing in MSL are high – agent

Mailula's dream to play in Europe still alive

Cassius Mailula is signing for US Major League Soccer team Toronto from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Cassius Mailula is signing for US Major League Soccer team Toronto from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana starlet Cassius Mailula’s dream is to play in Europe, but his agent has explained how they convinced the youngster to agree to the Major Soccer League (MSL) move.

Mailula, one of the standout players in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) last season with Mamelodi Sundowns, last month joined the growing list of South Africans in the money-spinning MLS.

The 22-year-old forward signed for Toronto FC in a surprise move amid expectations he might be headed for Europe, with reported interest from teams in France.

The Bafana player was an unused substitute when Toronto lost 3-2 to FC Montreal on Sunday, but has made an impression on his new coaches at training, according to the club’s website.   

While Mailula’s agent, Karabo Mathang-Tshabuse, did not want to talk about other offers she received for the player, she did confirm the forward’s goal is to play in Europe.   

“When we sit with our clients we literally have a session where we say, ‘What is the dream?’ Because our job is to help facilitate the dream,” Mathang-Tshabuse said during a Momentum Women in Sports summit in Johannesburg.

“And his dream was quite clear [that], ‘I want to play in Europe one day.’ So as an agent your role is to say how can we achieve this? How do we go from where you are to where you need to be?

“Looking at his age and how he is performing, I think when you have a quality talent who is so focused it becomes easy.”

Mathang-Tshabuse believes by playing in the MLS, Mailula stands a better chance of attracting the eye of European clubs because of the great focus on the US league at the moment.

“I think for Cassius when we showed and explored options [it was] to say the MLS is rising right now, and not only rising in terms of money coming into it – also in terms of the eyeballs on the league due to [Lionel] Messi joining [Inter Miami]. The numbers are just crazy.

“It then became easy working with a client who knows what they want, to say this option may not be the ultimate dream, but it could be a great gateway.”

Mailula scored 15 goals in all competitions last season, which saw him earn a Bafana call-up.

The player has said moving to Canada was not an easy undertaking, but it was key for him to get out of his comfort zone in a bid to achieve his ultimate goal.

“It was not an easy decision to take, but I feel like I need to get out of my comfort zone, to explore, to get closer to Europe. This is the right decision for my career and for my family too,” he told Toronto FC’s website.

“It will help me a lot. Everything is top. The facility is good, the coaches are good, the players are also good, so it will help me to improve myself and go to the next level.”

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