US-based Harambee Stars prospect to finally cement place as a MLS regular

Phillip Mayaka with Harambee Stars in 2021.

FOOTBALL US-based Harambee Stars prospect to finally cement place as a MLS regular

Mark Kinyanjui 18:36 - 29.01.2024

Mayaka, who was called up to the Harambee Stars set up back in 2021 by Engin Firat, will be hoping he can keep impressing.

US-based Harambee Stars prospect Philip Mayaka will get several chances to cement his place as a Major League Soccer (MLS) regular for Charlotte FC in 2024 as the season prepares to start on February 25.

Mayaka featured in Charlotte's B team (Crown Legacy) for much of last season, being a regular in the MLS Next Pro setup, but now has his eyes on permanently establishing himself as a first-team player which in turn will earn him a place back in the Kenya national team soon.

The St.Anthony's Boys Kitale graduate started in central midfield during the club’s 3-3 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Friday and featured for 45 minutes as Charlotte led 2-1 at halftime.

The game eventually ended 3-3 but Mayaka did have a decent individual display and will be full of confidence when the club takes part in its next preseason friendly match against LA Galaxy before they play San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota United ahead of their opener against New York City FC.

Mayaka, who received his first call-up to the national team back in October 2021, as a midfielder for USL Championship club Colorado Springs Switchbacks on loan from MLS side Colorado Rapids.

He was scouted playing football in Nairobi by the general manager of the Montverde Academy in Florida and he had options to play in Norway but decided to make the move to the United States.

Whilst in Florida, Mayaka ended up playing for the Orlando City academy in the USSDA for a year, making 16 appearances and scoring nine goals, and in 2019, he attended Clemson University to play college soccer.

In his two seasons with the Tigers, Mayaka made 32 appearances, scoring two goals and tallying eight assists.

In his freshman season, Mayaka was named ACC Freshman of the Year, All-ACC First Team, All-America Second Team, and a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. His sophomore season saw him earn First-team All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament team accolades.

On March 29, 2021, Mayaka joined Colorado's USL Championship affiliate side Colorado Springs Switchbacks on loan and he made his professional debut on May 14,  appearing as a 73rd-minute substitute during a 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City II.

He then moved to Charlotte from Colorado in 2023 where he featured for the club’s B team, Crown Legacy FC for much of the season, but now has a chance to firmly establish himself as an MLS regular this season.

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