Racing Louisville forward, Thembi Kgatlana, has been chosen as the captain of Banyana Banyana in the upcoming international friendly against the USA.
This decision comes following midfielder Refilwe Jane’s injury, temporarily leaving the captaincy position vacant for the vice-captain.
Kgatlana’s exceptional performance and recent accolade as the Bud Light NWSL Player of the Week in Week 18 further reinforces her suitability for the role.
In a thrilling match against the league-leading Portland, she secured a comeback victory for Racing Louisville with a superbly executed goal. Her agility, determination, and strategic play have made her a formidable force on the field.
Kgatlana showcased her attacking prowess, taking eight shots, three of which were on target. Her relentless pressure on the opponent’s defence resulted in her winning possession back for Racing Louisville twice in their defensive third.
Having represented South Africa at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she contributed two crucial goals, Kgatlana played a pivotal role in leading Banyana Banyana to the knockout stage for the first time in the nation’s history.
Since returning from the Women’s World Cup, Kgatlana has scored two goals and provided an assist in 12 appearances across all competitions. This is a remarkable achievement considering her return from a serious Achilles injury sustained during the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Kgatlana’s next challenge awaits as Racing Louisville takes on OL Reign in the UKG NWSL Challenge Cup semi-final round. Fans eagerly anticipate witnessing her leadership and electrifying performances on the field.
The international friendly between South Africa’s Banyana Banyana and the USA will mark a significant occasion not only for the teams but also for the retirement of football icon Megan Rapinoe.
The two matches are set to take place on 21 and 24 September 2023, at Chicago’s Soldier Field, promising exhilarating encounters between two talented sides.
Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana’s Thembi Kgatlana in action for Racing Louisville in the United States of America. Photo: Racing Louisville (Instagram)