Not to start off with a shameless self plug, especially during player signing things but here’s that international player I alluded to on the USL Show.
Bethlehem Steel FC needed a right back that they wouldn’t have to share with the Union and now they have their man. Cameroon youth international and former (and now kind of current) teammate with Eric Ayuk, Olivier Mbaizo.
Mbaizo arrives from Rainbow FC and will occupy an international slot for the organization. The 20-year-old has had a pretty strong career to this point in his native Cameroon both on a domestic and international scale.
Last year with Rainbow FC (still the best club name in the world) Mbaizo played 10 matches with 4 assists from his preferred right back role. Before moving to Rainbow FC, he was with MTN Elite One League side Union Douala, even gaining some CAF Champions League experience against Egypt’s Zamalek SC. Olivier helped Douala to 12 clean sheets in their 34 game campaign which lead Douala to 4th in the table.
Internationally, Mbaizo is no slouch. Starting with the U17s in 2014 he’s made appearances at every level, captained the U21s and nearly made it into the senior side for the Africa Cup of Nations last summer. He represented his country at the Africa U20 Cup of Nationas, playing every minute of the group stages. He notched a goal in their 4-1 win over Sudan in that tournament in March of last year.
“Olivier is an exciting addition for us,” head coach Brendan Burke said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to welcoming another quality young defender to our group, especially one with extensive youth international experience.”
Mbaizo joins second-year right back Matt Mahoney on the roster and gives the Steel four of their seven allotted international slots and eight total players on the roster. Union U19 right back Nykolas Sessock is also expected to push for minutes at right back this season.
I’ve chosen not to put in the 45-minute highlight video of Mbaizo, because well, sometimes you can’t ruin things for everyone else. I did take the liberty of throwing a four-minute one in for you. In case your French is like mine (non-existent) Mbaizo is number 15.
Catch Olivier Mbaizo and the rest of the 2018 Steel team as they start the season off at home against Richmond, March 18, 2 p.m. EST.