Orlando Pirates’ target could have MLS move put on hold

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Orlando Pirates have seen their hopes of landing the services of Bafana Bafana and SuperSport United keeper Ronwen Williams boosted.

Williams is believed to be on the radar of teams in the United States-based Major Soccer League but SuperSport aren’t keen on allowing him to leave before the end of the current season.

PSL Golden Glove clean sheets
Orlando Pirates’ target Ronwen Williams during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Highlands Park and SuperSport United at Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa on 08 March 2020 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Williams MLS move on hold

The MLS amended its primary transfer window earlier this month, meaning its deep-pocketed clubs can acquire players from 10 March right through until 1 June. The MLS’ secondary transfer window remains unchanged, opening on 7 July and closing on 5 August.

Williams has won the PSL’s Golden Glove in the last two seasons and has attracted interest from local giants and teams abroad.

While Williams is understood to have a buyout clause in his long-term contract with Matsatsantsa, the terms of this clause are strictly confidential.

Former SuperSport United midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo is the only South African currently based in the United States, plying his trade at FC Cincinnati.

A total of 13 South African players have turned out in the MLS starting in the mid-90s when Doctor Khumalo and Shaun Bartlett made high-profile moves to the USA.

Orlando Pirates
26 May 1996: Doctor Khumalo of the Columbus Crew runs down the field with the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Galaxy won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport

Orlando Pirates still keen on Bafana stopper

Despite the links to a league of the stature of the MLS, Orlando Pirates have not given up hope of bagging Williams, who is seen by the club as an upgrade of their current number one Richard Ofori, who has delivered a mixed-bag of performances since being signed from Maritzburg United at the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

SuperSport have been a fixture in the top eight of the PSL for the last ten years without mounting a significant title challenge since their last Premiership triumph in 2010, when the club completed a hat-trick of top-flight trophy wins. They are once again in the frame but another failure to kick on could see Williams, who is also club captain move on, either to the Soweto Giants or abroad.

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