A day after signing a pair of 18-year-old defenders to homegrown contracts, a report has surfaced linking the Philadelphia Union to another young defender from Cameroon.
The website 45is2.com reports that 20-year-old central defender Olivier Mbaizo is on his way to the U.S. to negotiate a possible two-year deal with the Philadelphia Union.
The Union Douala defender was a teammate of Eric Ayuk on Cameroon’s youth national team at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in 2017.
Should Mbaizo end up joining the club, he would give the team six central defenders and five under the age of 24.
Wake Forest defender Mark McKenzie, 18, was signed to the team as a homegrown along with 18-year-old left back Matthew Real on Thursday. The center back corps also includes 22-year-old Englishman Jack Elliott, 23-year-old Ghanan Josh Yaro and 25-year-old Richie Marquez.
Mbaizo would occupy the eighth international spot on the first team roster, but Bethlehem Steel FC only has three of their seven available spots occupied, which can be used for players loaned down from the first team. The Union started last season with 10 international players on the first team roster.
As with any international transfer rumor, it should be stressed that there’s always a possibility he’s not actually signing with the Philadelphia Union, but Bethlehem Steel FC on a USL deal.
Below is a highlight video for Mbaizo.