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Rowdies acquired Burundi international Pacifique Niyongabire

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 01/12/24, 2:30PM EST


23-year-old winger arrives via transfer from Valour FC of Canadian Premier League

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have acquired winger Pacifique Niyongabire, who has made five appearances for Burundi's senior national team. | Photo courtesy Valour FC

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Thursday that the club had acquired winger Pacifique Niyongabire via transfer from Canadian Premier League side Valour FC for the upcoming USL Championship season. Per club policy, the terms of the agreement were undisclosed, and the transaction is pending league and federation approval.

Niyongabire is a newcomer to the USL Championship, having spent the majority of his professional career in Australia before joining Valour for the 2023 season. Last year, the 23-year-old recorded one goal and three assists in 26 appearances for the club.

Born in Burundi, Niyongabire emigrated to Australia with his family at a young age. Two months before his 18th birthday in 2018, the creative winger made his professional debut for Adelaide United after developing in the A-League side’s youth system. Following several seasons with Adelaide United, he moved to Perth Glory FC for a two-season stint, and has made 40 appearances overall in Australia’s top flight across the regular season and playoffs, recording one goal and five assists.

The 23-year-old earned his first cap for the Burundi men’s national team in a friendly against Ivory Coast in November of 2022 and has made five more international appearances since then, including two appearances in Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying last year. He tallied his first goal for Burundi in March of last year, notching the lone goal for his country in a match versus Indonesia.


Valour FC struggled in the Canadian Premier League in 2023, but Pacifique Niyongabire was one of the club’s bright spots and will hope to bring his attacking creativity to Tampa Bay. The 23-year-old completed 93 dribbles at a 50.3 percent success rate while notching 27 chances created with three assists while also on paper doing solid defensive work, recording 0.84 interceptions per 90 minutes as a right winger.

His experience in Australia’s A-League and in Burundi’s senior national team also indicate the standard that Niyongabire could deliver. As a potential replacement for Dayonn Harris, we’ll see how quickly he can find a place in the Rowdies’ attacking rotation this season.

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