Off a breakout season in which he led Sporting KC II in scoring, forward Enoch “Matiti” Mushagalusa has signed with Louisville City FC, the club announced Tuesday.
Mushagalusa, whose deal is pending league and federation approval, netted 8 goals, added 4 assists and ranked among his former club’s top chance creators in what was his second professional campaign. The 22-year-old was also the only player to appear in — and start — all 32 of Sporting KC II’s games in 2021 after making eight appearances as a rookie in 2020.
“We’ve seen firsthand Matiti’s abilities the last couple of years,” said LouCity head coach Danny Cruz. “We are getting a player that is extremely dangerous in the final third, relentless in his ability to attack the opponent and has proven that he can be a threat in this league.
“After talking with Matiti, it was clear to us that we are bringing in another player that we know will fit the culture and has the drive to want to succeed. We are looking forward to getting him here and integrated with the group.”
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mushagalusa was raised in Denver, where he came up through the Colorado Rapids’ academy program. Mushagalusa poured in 53 goals across 85 U.S. Soccer Development Academy appearances from his U-15 through U-19 seasons before receiving a trial with the Rapids’ Major League Soccer side.
With an option to play at NCAA Division I South Carolina, Mushagalusa instead went on to sign with Sporting KC II ahead of the 2020 USL Championship season and begin his pro career.
“Whenever I watch Brian Ownby play with the freedom he has and the talent, I think that fits my style,” Mushagalusa said of joining LouCity. “The club has top players, a top coach, and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans.
“I want to come in and make an impact. To think that I could be on the left flank, Ownby on the right and Cameron Lancaster in the middle, that’s one crazy attack.”
Mushagalusa’s original signing with SKC II coincided with a 2020 schedule that saw the club visit Lynn Family Stadium four times. Sporting returned to Louisville twice more in 2021.
“Whenever we played there, it felt like an MLS game,” Mushagalusa said. “The facility and atmosphere were amazing. I’m fortunate to now say I have a home game in Louisville.”
Mushagalusa joins former SKC II teammate Amadou Dia as a fellow new LouCity signing. Others recently secured in purple include goalkeeper Kyle Morton (from Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo) and Owen Damm (from Louisville City FC’s academy program).
Those are in addition to 16 LouCity returners from a roster that last season advanced to the club’s seventh straight USL Championship Eastern Conference Final. The trek toward more silverware begins March 12 when the 2022 season kicks off against Atlanta United 2 at Lynn Family Stadium in the first of 34 league games this year.
Current 2022 Louisville City FC Roster
Forwards: Jorge Gonzalez, Cameron Lancaster, Enoch “Matiti” Mushagalusa, Brian Ownby
Midfielders: Corben Bone, Tyler Gibson, Jay Tee Kamara, Napo Matsoso, Niall McCabe, Carlos Moguel Jr., Paolo DelPiccolo, Elijah Wynder
Defenders: Wes Charpie, Owen Damm, Amadou Dia, Oscar Jimenez, Sean Totsch, Josh Wynder
Goalkeepers: Kyle Morton, Parker Siegfried