Image: South Georgia Tormenta
The “Minnesota Messi” is back in South Georgia.
Friday, Tormenta FC announced Minneapolis’ own Mukwelle Akale has signed a new one-year contract is returning to the club for the 2023 USL League One season.
Akale signed his first U.S. pro contract with the club in August of last year after a lengthy layoff from professional soccer, and was an immediate impact player for a squad who would go on to win the 2022 league Championship.
“We’re delighted to get to work with Kwelle again,” said head coach Ian Cameron. “He made a big impact on our team when he arrived in the 2nd half of last season.”
Akale made nine appearances down the stretch, scoring one banger goal and adding two assists. He also won a penalty that led to Tormenta’s first goal of the playoffs.
“I decided to rejoin Tormenta for two reasons,” said Akale. “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 Leganés.
In 2020, the signed with Pafos FC, appearing six times for the Cyprus side after only spending a year with Pafos.
Before joining Villarreal, the Minneapolis native rose through the Minnesota Thunder Academy ranks.
Akale has featured for the U.S. U18 and U20 squads on the international level. He joined the U.S. U20 for the 2016 NTC Invitational in Carson, California. Akale received his last call-up for the United States U23 National Team in June of 2019 for a summer training camp held in Herriman, Utah.
South Georgia Tormenta begins its title defense March 17th at North Carolina FC. The club’s lone trip to Madison this season comes Wednesday, July 26th. All USL League One matches are available to stream on ESPN+.