Philadelphia Union right back Olivier Mbaizo has been signed to a “multi-year” contract extension, the Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday.
The Cameroonian international right back who was initially signed to a USL deal in January 2018 and joined the first team in April 2018. He took over the starting right back role this season after the retirement of Ray Gaddis and is likely to have increasing interest overseas ahead with Cameroon set to host the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2022.
“When we signed Olivier, we knew he had the tools to become a top defender in this league and he has emerged as such,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner stated in a news release announcing the extension. “Our system requires fullbacks to contribute in the attack, defense, and transition and Olivier’s quickness and competitiveness make him a perfect fit for such a role. His continued growth and dedication made this a well-earned contract extension.”
The length of the contract for the 24-year-old was not specified in the news release.
He’s played all 19 matches for the Union this season after earning a career high in appearances in 2020 with 14. He made just four appearances in his first two seasons with the club but did feature 31 times for the second team in the USL.
Mbaizo is one of two remaining players in the organization who was scouted and signed from outside the organization to the Bethlehem Steel FC under head coach Brendan Burke and assistant coach Stephen Hogan, who scouted Mbaizo in Cameroon. The other player is Cory Burke, who was initially signed to the Steel on loan from Jamaica for the team’s inaugural season in 2016 and after a standout season in 2017 was signed to a first team contract in 2018.