Tampa Bay Signs Valour Forward Niyongabire
Burundian international Pacifique Niyongabire won’t be back in Winnipeg for 2024.
The winger’s return had been pending a club decision ahead of the new year, with the Tampa Bay Rowdies now inking the 23-year-old to a contract after Valour FC agreed to sell him for an undisclosed fee. The transfer is pending league and federation approval.
The Burundian international was a mainstay in the lineup under Phillip Dos Santos, though his production didn’t quite meet the expectations imposed on him: the winger tallied three assists in 26 appearances, scoring his only goal for the club in a 1-1 draw against Pacific.
The fast-footed Australian-Burundian enjoyed better results on the international stage, where he featured for Burundi in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier after breaking through as a national team regular last year.
He had arrived to Winnipeg by way of Perth Glory FC, having previously suited up for fellow A-League side Adelaide United. While he enjoyed a decent start at IG Field with one goal and two assists in his opening nine games, he’d only make one more assist in the next 17 matches before departing.
Last season saw Moses Dyer and Brett Levis both depart Valour for the USL Championship, with the duo making deals with FC Tulsa – though they’d left on frees rather than a direct transfer.
Former Valour striker Jaime Siaj had previously suited up for the Rowdies, who have some interesting CPL connections with former Eddies like Adam Najem, Kyle Porter, and Hunter Gorskie all having spent time there.
Valour is set for a hefty roster overhaul after finishing bottom of the table last season. Head coach Phillip Dos Santos has brought in some intriguing players who have proven CPL experience in their docket, like Australian defender Tass Mourdoukoutas.
Today saw Valour FC bring in Australian international Jordan Swibel, with the Winnipeg-based side evidently liking what it sees from Oceania athletes.