TWO years ago, Zimbabwean teenage sensation Farai Mutatu was invited to the USA Under-16 national football team, but couldn’t participate because he’s still not officially an American citizen.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
His invitation was yet another timely reminder of the abundant talent possessed by the teenage prodigy, who in 2013 was nominated for the US Youth Soccer 2012 Goal of the Year Award.
Then aged just 13, Mutatu, who played for the TNT Dynamite Under-13 Boys Red team based in Michigan at the time, scored a spectacular bicycle kick, which proved the winning goal during his team’s first game of the season against a team called Scor.
Although Mutatu missed out on the coveted award, the teenager, who was born in Zimbabwe but raised in the American state of Michigan, has been hogging the limelight ever since.
After the call-up to the USA Under-16 national football camp two years ago, Mutatu wrote yet another piece of history when, aged just 17, he became the youngest Lansing United player to ever appear for the National Premier Soccer League club last year.
Mutatu’s achievements were recognised last year when he was voted Sports Personality of the Year at the Zimbabwe US Achievers Awards.
And there seems to be no stopping to the teenager’s rapid rise as he was last month signed up by Michigan State University, which has one of the best collegiate soccer programmes in the US.
The 18-year-old young star told The Sports Hub in an interview from his base in the US that he was hoping to use the new opportunity to progress to professional football either in America or Europe and an international career with the Warriors if given an opportunity.
“I recently signed to play for Michigan State University and I’m looking forward to the new opportunity.
“I thank God because he blessed me with this gift. Football has been a blessing for me my whole life and I hope to use this opportunity to progress to playing professional either in America or Europe and also playing for the Zimbabwe national team if I get the opportunity,” said Mutatu.
“While I focus on my studies, football is a part of my life and I will play as long as I can,” Mutatu said.
His manager and sibling, Trinity Mutatu revealed his younger brother’s desire to play for some of the top European clubs in the future.
“So far he has been doing well, but the goal is to make him a star for the country and his club. We want to ensure that he penetrates into the European top clubs.
“He recently signed to play for Michigan State University and he is one of the youngest and at his age, the future is bright.
“It is also my dream to have him play for the Zimbabwe national team someday,” he said.
The sky is certainly the limit for Farai Mutatu.