Michigan State Spartans men’s soccer player Farai Mutatu is the latest under head coach Damon Rensing to go pro and head to the MLS. Mutatu is headed to one of the biggest brands in the sport, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
After a breakout 2021 season at MSU, Mutatu was taken in the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft at 21st overall. The forward tallied seven goals, three assists and played in all 17 matches during the campaign. In 67 career appearances, Mutatu had 13 goals and eight assists.
During the broadcast, Mutatu’s parents announced the pick live via telecast from home in Zimbabwe.
“There’s a lot of emotion, I’m so grateful, and feel extremely blessed to be given this opportunity, and thank you LA Galaxy for believing in me and giving me this opportunity, I’m just so grateful,” Mutatu said in a post-draft interview. “Seeing my parents on the call and announced that call, honestly, I couldn’t have imagined it to be any better. It’s a dream come true. I just wanted to first and foremost give all glory and honor to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here without him. I thank my family and all my friends, my teammates and my coaches that have helped me get here. I’m just really grateful and excited to get going.”
Mutatu’s parents moved to Haslett, Michigan in 2006 before having to move back to Zimbabwe in 2014. He hasn’t seen his parents, Jane and Washington, since they moved back.
In 2021, MSU’s Giuseppe Barone was taken in the third round, 63rd overall by Club de Football Montréal. In 2020, Patrick Nielsen was the 23rd overall pick (by Atlanta United) and Michael Wetungu was taken No. 46 (Real Salt Lake). In 2019, DeJuan Jones was taken 11th overall (New England Revolution), Ryan Sierakowski was taken 23rd overall (Portland Timbers), and goalkeeper Jimmy Hague was taken 30th overall (FC Cincinnati).
Mutatu spent time as a forward and winger for Michigan State, but MLS draft analyst Mike Lahoud said he will likely spend time in the league as a winger. At the draft combine, he spent some time as right back.