Villarreal’s academy product returns to Statesboro following title-winning 2022 | Image Credit: South Georgia Tormenta FC
STATESBORO, Ga. – South Georgia Tormenta FC on Friday announced midfielder Mukwelle Akale has signed a new contract through 2023. With the return of Akale, South Georgia now has ten returners from its 2022 USL League One title-winning team, which look to build on 2022’s success.
“We’re delighted to get to work with 'Kwelle again," Tormenta FC Head Coach Ian Cameron said. "He made a big impact on our team when he arrived in the second half of last season, arriving with much-needed quality but also humility. He’s good in tight areas, sees the field well, can beat a player and is tactically astute against the ball – a really good balanced player. Our staff are excited to have a full preseason with him now, to build on his game and make his relationships with teammates on the field even more automated.”
The Minnesota native signed his first professional contract in the United States with Tormenta FC in 2022 and now returns with the Statesboro side for 2023 after seven years playing abroad in Europe. Since signing for South Georgia, the midfielder appeared twelve times for Tormenta FC across all competitions, playing 841 minutes, contributing with one goal and one assist.
Last season, Akale sparked the offensive unit after being signed in the final half of the season, where he pulled out strong performances against FC Tucson and in the final game of the regular season against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC to secure a playoff spot for the first time in club history. Akale played a pivotal part of the team’s success in the 2022 USL League One Playoffs, winning the penalty that led to the first Tormenta FC goal.
“I decided to rejoin Tormenta for two reasons, firstly to win back-to-back championships and because of the family atmosphere found at Tormenta FC, from players and staff to the fans.”
Akale rose through the youth ranks of Villarreal CF from 2014-2020. Akale made his first team debut for Villarreal in 2016 after coming on in the 61st minute of Villarreal’s 3-2 friendly loss to CD Leganés.
In 2020, Akale signed with Pafos FC, appearing six times for the Cyprus side after only spending a year with Pafos.
Before joining Villarreal, the Minneapolis, Minnesota, native started his soccer career with the Minnesota Thunder.
Akale has featured for the United States youth national team at the U-18 and U-20 levels. He joined the U.S. U-20s for the 2016 NTC Invitational in Carson, Calif. Akale received his last call-up for the United States U-23 national team in June 2019 for a summer training camp held in Herriman, Utah.