Zim football players do well in the US

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BULAWAYO-BORN striker Lucky Mkosana has signed a one-year contract with United States Tampa Bay Rowdies who play in the North American Soccer League.

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

The Rowdies announced on their official website last week that the striker, who had been on loan to the club from USL Pro’s Harrisburg City Islanders, had joined them for the 2014 season.

“The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Thursday that the club has acquired the rights to forward Luckymore ‘Lucky’ Mkosana from USL Pro’s Harrisburg City Islanders, and have signed the young forward to a new one-year contract through the 2014 season,” the statement from rowdiessoccer.com reads.

He joined the Rowdies last September and made his debut against Carolina RailHawks on September 7 and instantly became a hit with his speed and agility, becoming a key member of the strike force.

Mkosana (26) played nine matches for the Rowdies in the Fall season and scored two goals.

At Harrisburg City Islanders he played eight matches and scored 10 goals.

Mkosana played college football for Dartmouth College from 2008-2011 where he broke a 1953 record by scoring 34 goals and in 2012 he was to join fellow Zimbabwean Mkhokheli Dube at Chicago Fire after he was selected in the second round of that year’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

He however joined Harrisburg in the USL Pro last May.

In two seasons with Harrisburg he played 41 games, scored 20 goals and had four assists.

At Dartmouth, Mkosana was named Ivy League player of the year (2011), All-Ivy League First Team (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Soccer America Freshman, All-America First Team, College Soccer News Freshman, All-America First Team and Ivy League Rookie of the Year (2008).

He also played in the USL Premier Development League for Michigan Bucks.

Another Zimbabwean who plays in the USL Pro is forgotten former Warriors midfielder Joseph Ngwenya who joined Richmond Kickers in April.

Meanwhile, Schillo Tshuma, a member of two College Cup squads at Maryland, will forgo his final two years of NCAA eligibility to enter the Major Laegue Soccer (MLS) draft.

The Zimbabwe-born forward was The Post’s 2011 fall All-Met player of the year from Alexandria’s Episcopal High School.

He signed a Generation Adidas contract and is expected to be chosen in the first round. Tshuma, a quick and crafty attacker, had six goals and one assist this fall while appearing in 25 of 26 matches. As a freshman, he posted 10 goals and two assists.

Tshuma is the second non-senior from an elite area programme to leave school recently: Virginia freshman midfielder Jordan Allen signed a homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake after helping the Cavaliers advance to the national semi-finals. (Tshuma is available in the draft because he is not affiliated with an MLS youth academy.)

Generation Adidas players are particularly appealing because, like homegrown signings, they do not count against an MLS team’s salary cap.