Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
'Killer' Mphela ready to conquer world
by Paul Kennedy, June 9th, 2010 1:40AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  world cup

MOST COMMENTED

[PORTRAIT] Hapless host South Africa is suddenly looking like a force to reckoned with at the World Cup. Bafana Bafana are unbeaten in 12 games since Carlos Alberto Parreira returned as head coach. And their star has been their lone striker, Katlego Mphela, whose killer form -- six goals in his last five games -- is directly attributable to Parreira's training regime.

Mphela hails from the poor Oukasi township outside mineral-rich Brits in the North West province, where he earned the nickname "Killer" for a goal he scored as a youth. He was first spotted by former New York Cosmos player Jomo Sono, who signed him to his Jomo Cosmos.

Mphela had a short stint in France with Strasbourg and Reims but returned to South Africa because of homesickness and has spent the rest of his career at home with SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns, for which he was the ABSA Premiership's leading scorer and most valuable player in 2009-10.

Parreira took domestic-based players on extended training camps to Brazil and Germany.

"I think I have never been this fit in my whole career, thanks to all the training in camp," he told kickoff.com.

Mphela shed more than 10 pounds.

"It has helped me get even quicker and it looks simple when I pass the defenders," he added, "but it is not that simple. It is because of all the training in the national team. I'm lighter now and ready for our opponents." 

Mphela believes he can exploit his pace in Friday's opener against Mexico.

Based on his time in France, Mphela also has an opinion on the 2006 World Cup runners-up whom South Africa meets in its final group game.

"I don't think France are strong," he said. "I watched their last game and their players are old."

The sudden success of Bafana Bafana -- up until recently considered the weakest team to ever host the World Cup -- has raised the spirits of South African fans and has been credited with helping boost World Cup ticket sales in the final push to sell out stadiums.

Mphela has become a hero back in Brits, where his mother Maki Maggy Monyeki told church-goers on Sunday that through “the Grace of God and our earnest prayers that our boys will conquer the world."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Region IV teams sweep ODP titles again     
For the second straight year, Region IV teams won all four ODP Championships. Cal South took ...
What They're Saying: Sinisa Mihajlovic    
"Let's be clear. I didn't take his neck, I took his shirt, pushed his chest and ...
Johnson hits Gladbach winner; no stopping Tijuana    
Fabian Johnson scored his first goal since moving to third-place Borussia Moenchengladbach in its 2-0 victory ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
Preseason play wrapped up Saturday with the Houston Dynamo (Carolina Challenge Cup), New York Red Bulls ...
MLS: Projected opening day lineups    
MLS is slated to start its 20th season on Friday when the defending champion LA Galaxy ...
Gallardo shines as U.S. U-17s rout Cuba     
Joe Gallardo, who suffered a broken shinbone last August, scored a hat trick as the USA ...
Garber: 'Nobody's looking for a work stoppage'    
Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber ...
What They're Saying: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
MLS issues record fine to owner Dell Loy Hansen    
One MLS owner, Real Salt Salt's Dell Loy Hansen, has not been shy about expressing his ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives