Zim starlet shines in the US

BULAWAYO - Former Zimbabwe youth international and Highlanders striker Ackim Mpofu is flying the Zimbabwean flag high in the United States where he is studying at Cushing Academy.

The 18-year-old has been described by the New England Preparatory School Soccer website as “one of the best or the best player in Cushing’s history” in an article that looks at the players to watch in the 2013-14 season.

This comes on the back of an impressive debut that saw the former Zimbabwe Under -15 skipper being included in the Massachusetts Junior All-Star team after scoring 17 goals and making 12 assists in his debut season in the Western New England Preparatory School Soccer Association league.

Mpofu, who led the national Under-15 squad that participated in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore three years ago, is in the country for a holiday and said he is contemplating linking up with his old club Highlanders during his break.

“At the moment I am carrying an injury but I have thought about training with Highlanders when I recover and hopefully I can feature in a game or two before I return to the States,” Mpofu told the Daily News yesterday.

There is however, also a strong possibility that he might make a quick return to America as his school coach Matt Shea has invited him to work with youngsters at his soccer coaching camp.

Mpofu will be a Cushing senior this year and said he has already received scholarships from a number of universities.

“The coach at Boston University has been in touch about a possible scholarship and there have been feelers from Georgetown University and Holy Cross as well,” Mpofu said.

“I think I will settle for Boston where there is my country man Kelvin Madzongwe and going there will give me a chance to play in the collegiate first division.”

Mpofu turned out for Makhandeni Juniors before moving to Highlanders where he formed a deadly combination with the likes of Mncedisi Gumede and Mgcini Sibanda in Dumaza Dube’s championship winning Under-18 side of 2011.

He also made a few cameo appearances in the first team under Mkhuphali Masuku that same year.

Last year he moved to the United States to take up a football scholarship at Cushing Academy.

“It has been an eye opener for me and hopefully my performances will open doors for other Zimbabwean players in America,” said Mpofu. - Sakheleni Nxumalo

 

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