By Daniel Nhakaniso
Warriors defender Teenage Hadebe is closing in on a lucrative move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US, following reports that Houston Dynamo have tabled a US$1,8 million offer for his services to Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor.
The 25-year-old steely Zimbabwe international defender has developed considerably into one of the most highly-rated players in Turkey’s Super Lig since he joined Yeni Malatyaspor from South African side Kaizer Chiefs in July 2019.
Hadebe, who has made over 60 appearances for the Turkish club over the last two seasons, scoring four goals in the process, was named in the division’s team of the season in his debut campaign.
He recently concluded the 2020/21 campaign on a high by scoring twice as well as providing an assist to rescue his club from relegation.
Now, according to respected Turkish football journalist Salim Manav, interest in Hadebe’s services has been brewing in recent weeks and now MLS side Houston Dynamo look favourites to land his signature in a deal worth a reported €1.5 million (US$1,8 million).
The reports were also confirmed by the television channel BeIN Sports Turkey, who went further by revealing that the Zimbabwe international has agreed a deal in principle to move to the United States outfit who are currently in fourth in the Western Conference of the MLS.
The news of Houston Dynamo has been met with excitement by the club’s fans in the US, according to the Dynamo Theory, an online publication which extensively covers the MLS club.
“There are reports out of Turkey this morning that the Dynamo are signing 25-year-old left-back and centre-back Teenage Hadebe from Yeni Malatyaspor from the Turkish Super Lig. Hadebe is a Zimbabwean international with 22 caps and four goals for his country. The report states that the transfer fee is 1.5 million euros. Hadebe signed for Yeni Malatyaspor from South African side Kaizer Chiefs in 2019.”
They believe Hadebe will provide depth to the Houston Dynamo defence as they seek to bring success back to the club. Dynamo have been MLS Cup champions twice, winning during their first two seasons in 2006 and 2007. The club has also won the US Open Cup once, in 2018.
“Hadebe will bring much-needed depth to the Houston back line, especially at left-back. Adam Lundkvist has played every minute for the Dynamo this season. Sam Junqua has been out injured so Hadede will bring another option to the left side of the defence, as well as the ability to play as a centre-back. Hadebe is left-footed, which also gives the Dynamo another option going forward, to give Lundkvist a spell in what is a long Major League Soccer season. “We will update this story further when more details come out from the club,” the website said.
If the move to Houston Dynamo materialises, Hadebe will become the second Zimbabwean currently playing in the MLS, joining 22-year-old US-born Zimbabwean right-back Edwin Munjoma, who made his debut for FC Dallas last month.
Only four other Zimbabweans — the legendary Vitalis Takawira, Joseph Ngwenya, Mkhokheli Dube and Mubariki Chisoni — have played in the MLS
Takawira was the first Zimbabwean to feature in the league during its inaugural season in 1996, when he signed for Kansas City Wiz Wizards.
Plumtree-born Ngwenya followed in the footsteps, in 2004 when he signed for LA Galaxy before going on to play for Columbus, Houston and DC United.
Ex-Highlanders player Chisoni was next, featuring for LA Galaxy in 2005 before Dube played for the same club in 2008. The Standard