Report From Philadelphia Union
CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union today announced that the club has signed defender Olivier Mbaizo. Mbaizo (pronounced: O-LIV-ee-ay BYE-zoh) joins the Union first team after having signed with Bethlehem Steel FC ahead of the 2018 season. He will occupy an international roster spot for Philadelphia.
“Olivier trained with the Union first team throughout our preseason, and it became clear that he has the potential to immediately contribute at the MLS level,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He has earned this quick ascension to our first team through his play in preseason, and we look forward to further integrating him and assisting with his development.”
Mbaizo will be available to members of the media with French-English translation services following Union training at the Power Training Complex at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET today. Interested members of the media should RSVP with Matt Bodiford to receive specific timing and location updates.
Mbaizo signed in the United States with Steel FC on January 22, 2018 from his native Cameroon, where he played for Rainbow FC and Union Douala. Last season with Rainbow FC, Mbaizo made 10 appearances as a defender and registered four assists. Prior to joining the club, the 20-year-old played with Union Douala of the MTN Elite One League in Cameroon.
While with Douala, he started in two matches of the 2016 CAF Champions League, where the club fell on aggregate to Egyptian Premier League side Zamalek SC. Mbaizo helped the club to 12 shutouts during the 34-match regular season and guided them to a fourth-place finish in the table.
Mbaizo has worked his way up the Cameroonian national team ladder, starting with the Under-17s in 2014, and he has most recently earned a call-up for training with the senior team. Last year, he appeared with Cameroon’s U-20’s for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. He started all three matches and played every minute of the team’s Group Stage. Mbaizo scored a goal in their second match of the tournament, a 4-1 victory over Sudan on March 2, 2017.
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union signs defender Olivier Mbaizo on April 17, 2018. He will occupy an international roster spot for Philadelphia
Name: Olivier Mbaizo (pronounced: O-LIV-ee-ay BYE-zoh)
Born: August 15, 1997 in Douala, Cameroon
Hometown: Douala, Cameroon
Acquired: Philadelphia Union signed defender Olivier Mbaizo on April 17, 2018
Previous Experience: Bethlehem Steel FC (2018), Rainbow FC (2017), Union Douala (2016)