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Red Bulls bid for Mbuta, await league okay

On the same day the Red Bulls announced the signings of Macoumba Kandji and Terry Boss, the club could add a third player to the field depending on some paperwork with MLS and an agreement from a USL-2 club.

The Red Bulls have made a bid for winger/forward Matt Mbuta of Crystal Palace Baltimore and have agreed to a small fee for the player, but are still awaiting an okay from MLS on the deal, Red Bulls sporting director Jef Agoos said in a conference call on Monday evening. The Red Bulls have completed their obligations to meet the league’s 5pm ET deadline but must now wait for word on whether Crystal Palace Baltimore has accepted the offer and whether MLS has approved the deal. The deal could still fall through, but the Red Bulls have done their part to make it happen.

If the deal is completed by the league, Mbuta would join the Red Bulls as a developmental player.

The Red Bulls would have to release a player to make room for Mbuta and it remains unclear which player the club would part with, although goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell appears to be the most likely candidate after the Red Bulls added Boss, giving the team four goalkeepers on the roster. Forward Chris Megaloudis is an other player who could be waived to make room for Mbuta.

Mbuta was one of Crystal Palace Baltimore’s standout players in the team’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup victory against the Red Bulls on July 1. A speedy winger who can also play as a second forward, Mbuta is a 22-year-old Cameroonian speedster who would give the team some sorely-needed depth and athleticism on the right flank, where the club has needed a back-up to Jamaican winger Dane Richards.

What I can say about Mbuta having seen him against the Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup is that he is a speedy and shifty player who, much like Richards, can stretch a defense with his pace. With Richards a possibility to be called in to the Jamaican national team set-up next month, Mbuta could get the call to start, or at least see some minutes, down the stretch.


  1. the USL2 season is over so nows the time to give some guys a try. They get a few young international players that MLS teams aren’t jumping over because the players aren’t quite ready to produce and international spots can’t be wasted. Not to mention that these guys aren’t overly eager to travel across the US to trial for non-guaranteed 12k/yr contract. After maturing a bit and proving themselves in USL2, they’re worth a look at in MLS. These are like 1 month paid trials. Like Ssjemba in DC a while back and Moffat in Columbus last year. It’s not that desperate to use the 28th place on the roster for such a trial as a few of the rookies have already shown over the year that they won’t be able to stick around. Kandji is a different story from all of this. But not too different as Atlanta is on the losing end of a battle right now for a playoff spot and unlikely to compete for the title there anyways. Kandji’s yet another (previously unknown) young African player who’s latched on in USL and done well. For once the USL is actually doing MLS some good.

  2. Something’s not adding up for me here. Why is NY the only team grabbing players from the USL? Or are there others? I’m no scout, but this seems a bit desperate. Someone enlighten me.

  3. With Kandji and Mbuta, RB should have some good attacking options who have speed to burn. I haven’t seen either play, but I’m hoping there is some skill there as well so they don’t get themselves into dangerous positions only to have no ability to make the final pass or to finish. But from what I read, sounds like both can do that even if they aren’t completely polished players. I’m sure we’ll be in for some moments of brilliance along with some exasperation…

  4. wow… rbny is becoming much more attractive. hopefully the league will have no quams and allow this final transfer. i’ve stopped paying attention to ny since jozy left. i will be tuning in again now if only to see how this experiment works.


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