Khaya Ndubane

By Khaya Ndubane

Digital Manager Phakaaathi

‘Wrong move’, ex-Sundowns captain Kekana on Mailula’s US move

"Even at Sundowns, he didn't score as many goals as he was supposed to," commented Kekana.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana says Cassius Mailula should have stayed in South Africa a little bit longer and get developed before moving to the US.

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Mailula left Sundowns in August last year to join Toronto FC in the Major League Soccer (MLS), but the 22-year-old striker has struggled to break into the club’s starting line up.

He came on in the last 11 minutes of the match in the 4-0 loss against Vancouver on Sunday and missed a sitter.

Speaking on SABC Sport’s Soccerzone on Monday evening, Kekana said the move to the US came too soon for Mailula.

“The facts are there [that Mailula made the wrong move]. For a boy who’s 21 years old [*Mailula is 22] not to play for six months. That tells you there’s a huge gap. We’re talking about a development player, someone who still has to develop in front of goals,” said Kekana.

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“Let’s be honest, even at Sundowns, he didn’t score as many goals as he was supposed to. He scored the type of goals that I believe were fair, but I think for him to develop he needed to play more games. Players in his position need to play a lot of games, especially for a striker. You know in South Africa we always complain and struggle about strikers, so you need somebody who will always be on the field,” added Kekana. 

Mailula’s contract with Toronto is set to expire in 2026, but the MLS side has a one year-option on the Bafana Bafana striker.