Birthday: May 2, 1996
Hometown: Mohlakeng, South Africa
Pronunciation: Thembi Kgatlana
Previous Team: Atlético Madrid (Spain)
Before Racing Louisville FC: Kgatlana played previously in the NWSL for the Houston Dash and has also represented clubs in China, Portugal and Spain. She joins Racing after a year with four-time Spanish champion Atlético Madrid, where she made 28 appearances and nine starts across all competitions. Kgatlana tallied seven goals and three assists in helping the club finish fourth in Spain’s Primera División and reach the final of the Supercopa Feminina.
Previously in the NWSL, Kgatlana played in 16 matches for the Houston Dash in 2018, scoring twice. She moved to Beijing BG Phoenix’s squad in 2019, coincidentally a year after Björkegren coached there, netting six goals in 10 appearances. She briefly played for Portuguese club Benfica in 2020, helping the Lisbon-based team qualify for its first UEFA Women’s Champions League.
International: A national team standout, Kgatlana has 22 goals in 63 appearances for South Africa, including her country’s first-ever World Cup goal, which she scored against Spain in 2019. She debuted for South Africa’s senior team as a high school senior at the 2014 Africa Women Cup of Nations and twice started as a 20-year-old at the 2016 Olympics.
In 2018, Kgatlana led her team to the Africa Women Cup of Nations final, earning player of the tournament honors for the runner-up.